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Full text of "Sketches of Maj.-Gen. Stephen Dodson Ramseur"

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Onitiersitp of J13ort|) Carolina 




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SKETCHES 



OF 



MAJ.-GEN. STEPHEN DODSON RRMSEUR. 



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prp:fack. 

Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur, of the Con- 
federate Ann\- of Virginia, was my early companion in 
youth, my dearest friend in manhood, and connected with 
me by the strongest family tie, being my brother-in-law; 
and, to preserve his niemor\- and perpetuate his fame, I 
have collected these sketches. 

The future historian will here find the material to write 

the brilliant storv of his life. 

D. SCHENCK. 
April iS, iSg2. 



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SkGtcb of Major Seneral S, D, Raniseur, 



lU K. H. HAKDINi;, 1). D. 



Major GeNKKAL S. D. RamSKIR was horn in the villajje of 
Lincolnton. N. C, on the 31st of Ma\', 1^37. He was the second 
child of Jacob A. and Luc)' M. Ramseur. His parents were mem- 
bers of the I*resb\terian Church, am! he was bred under relij^Mous 
influences. The circumstances of his childhood were those best 
adapted to develop his character most favorabl)'. His parents 
possessing; amj^lc means to ^ive their children all necessar\' social 
and intellectual atlvanta^es, relieved them on the one hand from 
the ills of povertN', while on the other they preserved them from 
the enervating and corrupting allureinents of an artificial and 
worldly life. Having received his elementary education in the 
schools of Lincolnton, and the village of Milton, in his native 
State, he sought an appointment in the Military Academy at West 
Point. Failing in tliis effort, he entered the freshman class in 
Davidson College, N. C. At this institution he spent about 
eighteen months, but he had early chosen arms as his profession, 
and the opportunity again recurring, he determined to apply again 
for a Cadetship. Encouraged and aided by General D. H. Hill, at 
that time Prolessor of Mathematics in the College, and who rec- 
ommended him to the notice of the Hon. Burton Craige, he suc- 
ceeded in gaining the eagerly desired appointment. 

At West Point he remained five years, an additional )ear having 
been added to the course while he was a student there. He was 
graduated in i860. 

B)' his courtes}', high-toned integril}- and sterling worth, he 
made many warm personal friends, both among his brother cadets 
and in the professional staff. Of the branches of the service left to 
his choice, he preferred the Light Artillery, and in this was com- 
missioned second Lieutenant b) brevet 

It will be seen that the young Lieuteniint w<is in the Unitetl 
States army but a short time before the breaking out of the hostil- 
ities between the North and South, and this period — froni June, 
i860, to April, i86[ — he spent in the performance of his duties at 



32 

Fortress Monroe. In April, i86i, after the bursting of the storm- 
cloud, Lieutenant Ramseur resigned his commission in the army, 
and tendered his services to the newly-formed government at 
Montgomery. On the 22nd of the same month he was commis- 
sioned 1st Lieutenant of Artillery, and ordered to the Mississippi But 
whilst on his way to his new post, he received a telegram announ- 
cing his election to a captaincy of the "Ellis Light Artillery" 

This was a battery composed of the first young men in his State, 
and was then in formation at the Capital. 

Captain Ramseur now repaired with all haste to Raleigh, where, 
by his energy and activity, he soon secured the requisite number 
of guns, horses and other equipments necessary for a thoroughly- 
appointed battery; and in a very short time he had his full comple- 
ment of men. At "Camp Boylan," near Raleigh, he drilled and 
practiced his battery for some time, and brought it to such a state 
of perfection that it became the pride of our State. 

But the people began to ask why he did not go to the front. 
Troops from all the Southern States had been passing through 
Raleigh, and hastening on to Virginia, but the "Ellis Artillery'', 
was still going through its daily drills. The citizens, who had not 
become well acquainted with the young commander, began to think 
that this w^as a holiday company, and one of the papers published 
at the Capital, spoke somevvhat derisively of Captain Ramseur's 
artillery, as the "Parlor Battery." Inquiries were made by the 
authorities at Richmond, to which place the seat of the Confederate 
Government had been removed, as to when the battery would be 
in readiness. No definite answer could be returned — Captain Ram- 
seur said that his command had not yet attained the proficiency 
which he desired, and the drilling and reviewing continued. Some 
of Ramseur's friends thought that he had been tardy in resigning 
his commission in the old service, and they now thought him cen- 
surably slow in taking the field. In both" of these opinions they 
were wrong. In the one case, before giving up his commission, the 
young officer was determined to wait until every effort of the South 
to avert the strife had proven futile; and in the other, now that he 
had drawn his sword in our cause, he was as fully determined that 
when he went to the contest, its prowess should be recognized. 
And the record of the "Ellis Light Artillery" affords a favorable 
comment on his decision of purpose. 

At last he was ready, and late in the summer of 1861 his battery 



33 

proccctieii to X'iii^inia. ■ I h- was stationed iicir Sniithtu-ld on the 
South siile of the James, and spent the tall and winter months in 
camp at that pl.iee, or in occasional mo\'ements to .md from Nor- 
folk. 

At .ill of the reviews of the arms' in the dep.irtment of Morfolk, 
this b.itter)' was the c\'nosiire of attraction ; and its beautiful evolu- 
tions and proficienc)- in drillintj <^ained for the youthful commander 
many encomiums from the reviewing generals. 

In the Spring of 1862, when Richmond w.is threatened b)- Mc- 
Cicllan's achance up the Teninsula. Captain Ramseur was ordered 
to report, with his battery, to General Magruder at \'orkto\\n. It 
had the honor, therefore, of forming a part of that little army of 
about 7,ocxD or 8,000, which, by the masterly activity of its General, 
was made to represent such a formidable front that the ojjposing 
force, (which has been variously estimated at from 40,000 to 160,- 
000) was deceived into a halt, which continued until the arrival of 
the "Army of Northern Virginia," under Jos. K. Johnston. 

General Magruder had known the meritorious young officer 
when they were both in the service of the United States; and 
he, therefore, detached him from his favorite battery, to place 
him in command of the artillery of the right wing. It was here 
that Major Ramseur, who had now been promoted, saw his first 
active service. 

Before any serious fighting occurred on the Peninsula, Major 
Ramseur U'as elected to the Colonelcy of the 49th North Carolina 
infiintry, and although he regretted to dissever his connection with 
the artillery, he accepted the new promotion. The " Ellis Artil- 
lery," however, under the gallant leadership of Captain Manly, a 
short time afterwards, at the battle of Williamsburg, won its first 
laurels, which continued to brighten till the close of the war. 

The regiment of which Colonel Ramseur now took command 
was composed altogether of new men, men who had just enlisted 
But, b\- the exercise of his knowledge of infantr\' tactics, the young 
commander at an early da>' had it prcparetl for the front. The 
49th belonged to Ransom's brigade of Huger's division, and saw- 
its first service in the skirmishes which preceded the opening bat- 
tles before Richmond. Encouraged by the fearless intrepidity of 
its commander, this body of men from the very outset rendered 
most signal service. It went through the series of battles memor- 
able as the "seven day's fighting," and in the last of these, at Mai- 



34 

verii Hill, on tlic ist of Jul)-, whilst leading a victorious charge, the 
young Colonel was wounded. He was shot through the right arm, 
above the elbow, and that night, after the battle, was borne to 
Richmond, and carried to the house of Mr. M. S. Valentine. Here 
he met with every possible kind attention but the nature of his 
wound was such that more than a month elapsed before he could 
travel to his home in North Carolina. 

Whilst at home, and before he had sufficientl}- convalesced to 
return to the field, Colonel Ramseur received his commission as 
Brigadier General. He now thought that promotion was coming 
too rapidly, and felt seriously disinclined to accept this newly offered 
compliment. But at the earnest request of his friends, who had a 
higher opinion of his capacity than he himself had, he reluctantly 
accepted the increased rank. It is a commentary both on the innate 
bravery of his regiment and the fearlessness of its commander that 
this officer was promoted immediately after leading a new comrriand 
into its comparatively first fight. 

In October, 1862 — though unable to use his right hand, even in 
writing — he repaired to Richmond in order to make a decision in 
regard to the brigade which had been offered him. He called on 
President Davis, and explained to him his delicacy in accepting the 
exalted rank that had been conferred upon him, but the President 
insisted that he should take the commission, telling him at the same 
time to return to his home until he was entirely restored to health. 
But General Ramseur, instead of returning to North Carolina, 
sought out the army, and took command of the brigade which had 
been left without a general officer by the death of the gallant 
George B. Anderson. His arrival at his new command was thus 
spoken of afterwards at a meeting of condolence, held in Lincoln- 
ton, on the 31st of October, 1864. It is an extract from a speech 
delivered by Colonel Bynum: 

"Assigned to a command in which I served, I knew him well. 
He succeeded the lamented Gen. Anderson, an officer of great 
abilities, and well skilled in the art of war, commanding the love 
and confidence of his men. His was a place not easily filled. 

" General Ramseur came to the brigade, a stranger from another 
branch of the service; but he at once disarmed criticism by his 
high professional attainment and great amiability of character, in- 
spiring his men, by his own enthusiastic nature, with those lofty 
martial ciualities which distinguish the Southern soldier." 



3i 

This brigade. CDinposcd of the Jiul, 4th. I4tli and 30tli Xortli 
Carolina icL;iniciits, then attached to Jackson's corjis. was coiii- 
m.imlcd bv (icneral Ramscur at the battle of Chanceilorsvillc-. 
where he was a^ain wounded in the foot l)\- a shell, u hilst leailins^' 
a successful chari^e upon the eneni\'s works. I his second wonml 
did not take him from the field, but he continued with his brii^ade, 
and shortl)' afterwards accompanied it throuj^h the Tennsxlvania 
campaign. In the battle of (iettysburj^^ he acted with conspicuous 
gallantry — his brij;ade being among the first to enter the captured 
town. Here he won. b\- his courage and militar)- deportment, the 
highest esteem <ind warmest admiriition of the dixision. corps, ami 
army commanders. 

After the return of the arm\- from Penns\lv<inia, and when there 
seemed to be a peaceful lull in the terrible war. and when the divi- 
sion to which General Ramseur's brigade belonged was preparing 
to go into winter quarters, near Orange Court House, he obtained 
leave of absence for the purpose of being married. He had long 
been engaged to Miss Ellen E. Richmond, of Milton, N. C, and on 
the 27th of October, 1863, they were united in marriage. Spending 
some time at the house of his wife's mother and at his home in 
Lincolnton, he again repaired to his brigade. 

The winter of '63 and '64 was spent in comparative quiet, but 
Grant having taken command of the army of the Potomac, the 
struggle was renewed in the spring with increased fury. Following 
the fortunes of the corps to which his brigade belonged, the ne.\t 
general engagements in which he bore a part were at the Wilder- 
ness and Spotts>lvania Court House. The following extract from yt 
the "" London Morning Herald" affords a vivid picture of the action 
of this brigade. Having been written by an English gentleman, 
who had familiar access to Gen. Lee's headtjuarters, it must needs 
be more impartial than if it had been written by anyone connected 
with the arm)'. It is a description of the battle of the Wilderness, 
fought on the 12th of May, 1864, and is dated at Richmontl, on the 
25th of the same month. After recounting the skirmishes w liich 
preceded the battle, and describing the commencement of the bat- 
tle itself, this correspondent thus alludes to the recapture. b\- Ram- 
seur's brigade, of a most important salient from which another 
portion of the army had been dislodged: 

"The Federalists continued to hold their grouml in the salient, 
and along the line ol works, to the left of that angle, w ithin .1 shorl 



36 

distance of the oosition of Monoghan's (Hay's) Louisianians. Ram- 
seur's North Carolinians of Rode's division formed, covering Mon- 
oghan's right; and being ordered to charge, were received by the 
enemy with a stuborn resistance. The desperate character of the 
struggle along that brigade-front was told terribly in the hoarse- 
ness and rapidity of its musketry. So close was the fighting there, 
for a time, that the fire of friend and foe rose up rattling in one 
common roar. Ramseur's North Carolinians dropped in the ranks 
thick and fast, but still he continued, with glorious constancy, to 
gain ground, foot by foot. Pressing under a fierce fire, resolutely 
on, on, on, the struggle was about to become one of hand to hand, 
when the Federalists shrank from the bloody trial. Driven back, 
they were not defeated. The earthworks being at the moment in 
their immediate rear, they bounded on the opposite side; and hav- 
ing thus placed them in their front, they renewed the conflict. A 
rush of an instant brought Ramseur's men to the side of the de- 
fences; and though they crouched close to the slopes, under enfil- 
ade from the guns of the salient, their musketry rattled in deep and 
deadly fire on the enemy that stood in overwhelming numbers but 
a few yards from their front. Those brave North Carolinians had 
thus, in one of the hottest conflicts of the day, succeeded in driving 
the enemy from the works that had been occupied during the pre- 
vious night by a brigade which, until the I2th of May, had never 
yet yielded to a foe— the Stonewall." 

At Spottsylvania Court House, General Ramseur acted with his 
accustomed gallantry. In this battle he was shot through his 
already disabled arm, and had three horses killed under him; still 
he never left the field, but led on his brigade to the gathering of 
fresh laurels for himself and forces. General Ramseur's career as a 
brigade commander was an uncommonly brilliant one. He never 
led the brigade into action that he did not add to its reputation. 
It was noted at Chancellorsville that he drilled it under heavy fire, 
and led it in a charge when others refused to advance, his men 
absolutely running over portions of a recusant command. An 
officer describing his appearance as he stepped up to Gen. Rodes 
and offered his brigade for the charge said, " he looked splendidly." 

For his services at Spottsylvania, on the occasion referred to by 
the correspondent of the London Herald, Gen. Ramseur was com- 
plimented on the field by Generals Ewell and A. P. Hill, and sent 
for by General Lee, that he might receive, in person, the thanks of 
that noble commander. 



37 

While (icncral Raiiisi-ur infused his own daiiiiL;. impetuous nature 
into his men, they almost worshipped him. They seemed to feel 
tlie same kind of personal entluisi.-sm towards him that the corps 
felt toward General Jackson, lie could lead them <in\ where; if he 
was ^uidin^ them. the\' never distrusted, never hesitated, never 
quailed. Their hearts beat with his hi^h coura<.je and responded 
to his heroic intrepidit\-. They h.id the most unbounded confidence 
in his daring skill and military resource. 

In June, 1864, he was promoted to a Major Generalship, and as- 
signed to the division formerly commanded by General Early. 

Early's corps, composed of Gordon's, Rodes' and Ramseur's divi- 
sions, was shortly afterwards detached from Lee, and sent to repel 
Hunter, who was threatening Lynchburg. General Early reached 
L\nchburg in time to save the city, and after the repulse of Hunter, 
he marched for the third time into Maryland. No serious fighting 
occurred during this campaign until the army reached Monococy 
bridge, where Ramseurand Gordon defeated the forces commanded 
by General Wallace. The army of the valley then marched to 
within fi\'e miles of Washington city, and but for the timely arrival 
of troops from the Department of the (julf, migiit have captured 
the Federal capitol. 

This addition to the enemy's army caused General Early to 
retreat to the lower valley, where, with various successes and 
reverses, he remained until ordered to rejoin the arm}- before Rich- 
mond. 

At the battle of Winchester on the 19th of September, General 
Ramseur's division sustained the brunt of the fight, from da\'Iight 
until nine or ten o'clock, when the other divisions came to his relief. 
It was in this fierce conflict that the gallant Rodes gave up his life; 
and, with the departure of his spirit, our army lost one of its noblest 
commanders. Gen. Ramseur was transferred from Early's old divi- 
sion to the division which was left without a Major General by the 
fall of Rodes. He commandetl this but one month, when he, too, 
died the gallant death of a soldier, at the battle of Cedar Creek. 

In what esteem Major General S. 1). Ramseur was held by his 
immediate superiors the following e.xtract will show. And the 
cause of the letter from which the extract is taken, gives a faint 
indication of the love entertained for him by his troops. Lieuten- 
ant General Early wrote as follows to Hrig. General Bryan Grimes, 
who at the request of the division lately commanded b\- Generals 



38 

Rodes and Ramseur had asked for a suspension of military duties 
for one da>', tiiat it might duly honor these noble captains: 

"Hkad Quarters. Valley Dist., Oct. 31, 1864. 

General: — Your request for the suspension for to-morrow in 

your division of all military duties which are not indispensable, in 

order to carry out the purposes of the resolutions of the officers of 

the division, in honor of Major General R. E. Rodes and Major 

General S. D. Ramseur. is granted. I take occasion to express to 

the division so lately commanded in succession by these lamented 

officers, my high appreciation of their merits, and my profound 

sorrow at their deaths. 

vf * * * * 

"Major General Ramseur has often proved his courage, and his 
capacity to command; but never did these qualities shine more 
conspicuously than on the afternoon of the 19th of this month 
when, after two divisions on his left had given way, and his own 
was doing the same thing, he rallied a small band, and for one hour 
and a quarter held in check the enemy, until he was shot down 
himself In endeavoring to stop those who were retiring from the 
field. I had occasion to point them to the gallant stand made by 
Ramseur with his small party; and if his spirit could have animated 
those who left him thus battling, the 19th of October would have 
had a far different history. He met the death of a hero, and zvith 
his fall, the last hope of saving the day zvas lost. General Ramseur 
was a soldier of whom his State has reason to be proud — he was 
brave, chivalrous and capable. 

Respectfully, 

J. A. EARLY, Lieut. Gen. 

Brig. Gen. Bryan Grimes. Covid'g-Div. 

Mortally wounded on the afternoon of October the 19th, 1864,. 
after having participated in one of the most brilliant strategic move- 
ments of the war. he was captured and died in the hands of the 
enemy next morning about 10 o'clock. Some of his friends in 
Winchester procured his body, had it embalmed, and sent through 
the lines to his family. To Major Hutchinson, his Adjutant Gen- 
eral, who was captured at the same time, the family of General 
Ramseur are indebted for some additional accounts of his last mo- 
ments. His wound was through the body, and of a very painful 



39 

natuif; but he had occisidiial periods of ease, ami tliiriiij^f tliese he 
conversed very calmly. He knew th.it he was f.itall)- wounded, 
but was not unprepared to meet death. To (ieneral Hoke, wh<j 
iiad been an old schoolmate and friend from childhood, he sent this 
word: " Tell General Hoke I die a Christian, and have done mv 
duty." 

He had heartl, but the da\' before the b.ittle in u iiich he was to 
give up his life, of the birth of his little dauj^hter. He spoke most 
tenderl)' of his wife and little child, a".d sent them many loving 
messages. The last words he whispered were for her: "Tell m)- 
darling wife," he said, " I die with a firm faith in Christ and trust to 
meet her hereafter." For his father, brotlicrs and sisters, also, he 
had words of peace and love. 

General Ramseur was a Major General only for the period of five 
months, commanding first, Early's division, and after the death of 
General Rodes, taking his command. But during this short time he 
maintained his high military character, and the entire confidence 
of his superior officers and brother Major Generals. There was 
onh' one occurrence in the whole of General Ramscur's militar\- 
career to which it is possible to attach an\- blame, or make him the 
subject of censure, and even if it be a blunder or mistake, what 
commander has not at some time made one false step. 

It is thus spoken of b)- General Early in his narrative of his cam- 
paign in the Valley. 

''On this da)'. (19th of July,) I received information that a column 
under Averill was moving from Martinsburg toward Winchester, 
as the position I held left my trains exposed in the rear, I determ- 
ined to concentrate my force near Strasburg. This movement 
was commenced on the night of the 19th; Ramseur's division being 
sent to Winchester to cover that place against Averill. Vaughns 
and Jackson's cavalry had been watching AveriU, and on the after- 
noon of the 20th it was reported to General Ramseur that Averill 
was at Stephenson's depot, with an inferior force, which could be 
captured, and Ramseur moved out from Winchester to attack him. 

But relying on the information he received General Ramseur did 
not take the proper precautions in advancing, and his division while 
moving by the flank, was suddenly met b)' a larger force under 
Averill. advancing in line of battle, and the result was, Ramseur 
was thrown into confusion, and compelled to retire with the loss of 
tour pieces of artillery and a number in killed and wounded. The 



40 

error committed on this occasion, by this most gallant officer was 
nobly retrieved on the subsequent part of the campaign." 

It is very doubtful if any blame should be attached to Gen. Ram- 
seur for this affair. The cavalry command, mentioned, had been in 
his front all day for the special purpose of watching Averill, and 
reporting from time to time. A General commanding must rely on 
his subordinates for much information; he cannot possibly attend to 
everything himself. Gen. Ramseur had secured no information that 
the enemy were nearer than Stephenson's depot. Those whose 
duty it was to inform him reported such as the tact. It was a mis- 
take, therefore, that under the circumstances might have happened 
to an)' general. Certain it is that General Early did not censure 
Gen. Ramseur at the time, and General Rodes did not for one 
moment lose his confidence in him. 

General Early thus speaks of General Ramseur in his account of 
the battle of Cedar Creek: 

"Major General Ramseur fell into the hands of the enemy mor- 
tally wounded, and in him, not only my command but the country 
suffered a heavy loss. He was a most gallant and energetic officer, 
whom no disaster appalled, but his courage and energy seemed to 
gain new strength in the midst of confusion and disorder. He fell 
at his post, fighting like a lion at bay, and his native State has 
reason to be proud of his memory." 

General Ramseur was a noble specimen of a man; though dis- 
tinguished as a warrior and possessing marked abilities for military 
success, yet his greatest excellence was his character as a man. He 
had all those qualities that excite the love and admiration of friends 
and the respect of foes; no dishonorable thought, word or act stains 
his bright name. In all the relations of life he was a model as a 
son, brother, husband, friend; he was without reproach. His friend- 
ship elevated and ennobled, for the whole tone of his character was 
lofty. He had developed in a remarkable manner two elements 
necessary to the highest type of man, viz: a humanly tenderness 
of feeling, united with the most manly courage and self-reliance. 
His courage was the theme of the whole army, he seemed perfectly 
fearless, absolutely devoid of any sense of fear. It seems strange 
that one so affectionate, so almost womanly in his feelings, should 
have been so completely at home amid the dreadful scenes of the 
battle field. But he absolutely reveled in the fierce joys of the 
strife, his whole being seemed to kindle and burn and glow amid 



41 

tlie excitements of dani^er. lie was spoken of b\- one of the \'ir- 
ginia jiapers as tlie Cliexalier Ha\ar(l of tin: war. IIis courage was 
marvelous — danger seemed to draw him as by a strange fascination, 
and he couUl pardon everytliing hut cow.irthce. Vet all this was 
not because he was indifferent to human life and suffering, he would 
expose himself to shield his staff, and his eyes would fill with tears 
as he reviewed his broken ranks, after the engagement was over. 

General Ramseur was remarkable for his love of children; he 
would devote himself to them wherever he met them, and seemed 
to take the greatest pleasure in pleasing them. From childhood 
he himself had been a most devoted child to his parents, and no 
sister ever had a brother more affectionate, no wife a husband more 
entirely her own. His whole nature was self-denying. — open- 
hearted — generous; no mean envies, no base jealousies were found 
in him. He never sought promotion, it always came unasked b}- 
him. 

In person. General Ramseur was of medium height, his figure 
was slender but well proportioned, very erect and of fine martial 
bearing. His brow was large, prominent, well rounded — his eye 
large and black and the whole expression open, winning and strik- 
ing. His face indicated in a most remarkable manner loftiness of 
character and purity of sentiment. He was a fine horseman, sitting 
his horse with grace, and managing him with skill. 

Gen. Ramseur was a member of the Presbyterian Church and 
died expressing his hope in Jesus as his Saviour. 

The writer of this sketch passed the last two years of the war in 
close intimacy with General Ramseur. He saw much of his Chris- 
tian character, and had man\' conversations with him on religious 
subjects. During this period he always expressed himself as trust- 
ing in Jesus. He read his Bible, and was regularl)' at church, and 
always promoted religious observance among his troopK. The last 
winter of his life Mrs. Ramseur spent with him in camp. He had 
prayers regularly in his famih-. and read religious books. He spoke 
particularly of his enjoyments of Jay's "Christian Contempl.ited." 
a book on the Christian character. He also read his Bible a great 
deal, and his faith graduall)- became brighter, more fixed and 
calmer. The last sermon he heard was in New Market from the 
text, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden 
manna and Aill give him <i white stone " He enjoyctl it and spoke 
of his satisfaction in it. 



42 

His last words to Mrs. Ramseur were an expression of assured 
hope in Christ. 

A high-toned and chivalrous gentleman, a gallant soldier, an 
humble Christian. We may apply to him the words of the great 
Poet of our language — 

"In war was never lion raged more fierce, 

In peace was never lamb more mild, 

Than was that young and princely gentleman." 




li liV.'H , :l 



MAJOR GENERAL STEPHEN D. RAMSEUR. 



DY PERMISSION OF THE CENTURY CO. 



ADDRESS 



LIFE AND CHARACTER 



MAJ. GEN. STEPHEN D. RAMSEUR, 



ucfoiif: the 



LADIES' MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION OF RALEIGH, N. C. 



MAY 10th, 1891. 



BY 

HON. WILLIAM R. COX. 



RAI.EIGH : 

E. M. rZZKLI-, STEAM IRINTEK AM) ItlNDUR. 
I89I. 



ADDRESS 



Mr. J'resid^'iit, Ltulies and (icntlnncn : 

When XiTxc's looked upon the roiiiitlcss hosts of Persia he 
is said to have wept when he reMcrti'd that within one hun- 
dred years iVoin tiuit time not one of those then in his pi-esenee 
woidd i)e livini;. It is with siniihii" emotions every survivor of 
the war l)etween the States must he inovt-d when ealh-d upon to 
pass in review and comment upon tiie heroic deeds and still 
more heroic sufferings of those who partieij)at('d in that fierce 
and unrelenting conflict. 

It is now over a quarter of a century since the last hostile 
gun of the war was tired ; the laws are everywhere respected 
and obeyed ; and every citizen, irrespective of section or service, 
recognizes it as his (irst duty to march to the defense of his gov- 
ernment whenever menaceil l)y foes either from within oi- with- 
out. 

To such as may (piestion the poliev or pi'oprietv (»!' these 
memorial reunions, and inquire why these gatherings of the peo- 
ple, which may keep alive the estrangements of the past, we 
commend the remarks of that eloquent New Yorker, C'hauncey 
M. Depew, who, upon a similar occasiiju forciblv antl truthfnllv 
declareil that " vaj)id sentimentalists and timid souls dej^recate 
these annual reunions, feai-Ing they may arouse old strife and 
sectional animosities; hut a war in which five hundred thousand 
men were killed and two millions more wounded, in which 
States were devastated, and ukjucv spent e(pial to twice England's 
gigantic debt, has a meaning, a lesson, and results which are to 
the people of this Hepid)lic a liberal education, and the highest 
chairs of this university belong to you." 

The ladies of this associati(»n have a just aj)preciation of" the 
necessity for preserving the truths of history for the future his- 
torian, who, with a juster prospective which distance mav give, 



shall write a lii.-tory ofoiir coniiiion country. They have wisely 
decided that at each annual reunion an active participant of the 
war shall be called upon to portray the life and character of 
some distinguished comrade who in the late war yielded up his 
life in obedience to the laws of his State and for a cause his 
conscience told him was right. The necessity for preserving the 
data thus collected becomes more important from the fact that 
in every war, whatever may be its original merits, writers will 
always be found to misrepresent and belittle the vanquished, 
while with fulsome adulation they sing pteans to and crown 
with laurels tlie brow of the victor. Even distinguished })ar- 
ticipants in such strifes are not slow to yield to importunity 
the autobiographic memoirs of colossal achievenients scarcely 
recognizable by their friends, the effects of which are mislead- 
ing. In the late war, and by the chroniclers of that war, we 
were denounced as rebels and traitors, as if the promoters 
of such epithets were ignorant of the fact that in our Revo- 
lutionary war Hancock, Adams and their compeers were 
denounced as rebels and traitors, while Washington and Frank- 
lin broke their oaths of allegiance to join this despised class. 
Indeed, the very chimney-sweeps in the streets of London are 
said to have spoken of our rebellious ancestors as their subjects 
in America. Therefore, with a conscience void of offense, while 
we would not and should not forget our hallowed memories of 
comradeship and of common suffering, we cherish them alone as 
memories, and seek no willows upon which to hang our harps, 
no rivers by which to sit down and weep while we sing the songs 
of the long ago. 

Wars have existed from the beginning of time; and, despite 
the spread of Christianity and the growth of enlightenment, will 
prol)ably continue until time shall be no more. In the war 
between the States there was but little of tnalice, of vengeful- 
ness and vindictiveness. As to its origin there is little proba- 
bility of our agreeing so long as it is insisted that the North 
fought chiefly for the eradication of slavery and the South for 
its perpetuation. At the formation of this government 



SI,AVKi:V 



existed in every Stale. New 1':iio;|mii(|, ulii.-li iiltiiiiatelv Ix-cariie 
the |)riiiei|)al theatre of free-soil ism and aholitiuii nj^itatioii, was at 
one time more interested in the shive tra(h! than any other section 
of our eonntry. It is not mere s|)eenhition to deehire that had her 
soil and elimate l)een adapted to the enhivatioii and ])n)diietion 
of the chief staples of the South she wonid have recognized it 
as a >;reat oiitrai^e to have been compelled to relinqnish so j)r()(it- 
al)K' an institution without her free consent. By prospective 
enaetmt'nts our Northerti friends frradnally abolished slavery, 
and their slaves were sent South and sold. The money arising 
from such sales was carried North, invested in manufactories, 
ships and brick walls. Their section j)rospered and we rejoice 
in their prosperity as a part of our common countrv. In an 
address delivered by Mr. Kvarts before the New England Soci- 
ety he said that the Puritan l)elieve(l in every man atteudino- to 
his own business, but he believed every man's business was his 
own. There is a great deal of truth portrayed in this sport- 
ive suggestion. Having profitably escaj)ed from this "great 
iniquity," their restless intellectuality early prompted them to 
exj)ress their abhorrence of slavery. The great body of Ameri- 
can people really cared very little about this institution, or, at 
least, if they deprecated it they recognized it as a matter of 
local legislation, for which they were not directly responsible; 
therefore, the question of its abolition for over half a centurv 
made but little headway, and only became a j)otential element 
of discord when it was discovered that its agitiUion would have 
the effect of securing the ascendency of one of the great politi- 
cjil parties of the country.. As slavery only obtained in the 
minor section its agitation, on .sectional grounds, ultimatelv had 
the effect of j)r()m()ting a crisis which enabled the ambitious and 
aspiring politicians to iuHame the pa.ssions of their followers 
until they were prepared to .see their country |)lunged into a war, 
which the border States, led by Virginia, did all that lav in their 
power to avert. Recognizing the weakness of this institution, 



6 



as well as the fact that they were numerically greatly in the 
minority, the slave-holding States simply asked to be " let alone." 
But as it was threatened that they should he surrounded by a 
cordon of free States until slavery had "stung itself to death," and 
that this government could not exist "half free and half slave," 
the purposes of the dominant section became so manifest the 
Southern States felt that, in justice to themselves, they could no 
longer remain quiet. The causes for this agitation had their 
existence in the colonial era, when slavery was universal ; and 
the settlement was postponed on account of the difficulty of 
arriving at a satisfactory solution. Two irreconcilable theories of 

POPULAR GOVERNMENT 

were at the outset proposed. The one advocated by Mr. 
Hamilton contemplated a strong centralized authority, fash- 
ioned after that of a limited monarchy; the other, which was 
proposed by Mr. Jefferson, recognized the- people as the source 
of all power, and insisted that they should be left as free 
and untrammeled from governmental control as its exigen- 
cies might demand. The one contemplated a magnilicent cen- 
tral government, with that ostentation and parade that keeps 
the masses in av/e; the other a simple, economic, democratic 
government, regulated and governed by the people. The fol- 
lowers of these statesmen were known by the party ntrmes of 
Federalists and Republicans. The elder Adams was the first 
President of the Federalists, and during his administration 
and with his approval the Alien and Sedition laws were 
passed, the effect of which was to abridge, if not im})eril, the 
freedom of the press in its criticism upon public; officials. This 
measure, with others of an unpopular nature, so outraged public 
sentiment as to elect Mr. Jefferson, the apostle of Democracy, to 
succeed Mr. Adams by an overwhehning majority, and the views 
he entertained and ably advocated laid the foundation for that 
great popular approval which n)aintained his party in power, 
with but brief intervals of interruption, from that time up to 
the beginning of the war. The student of history will discover 



tliat the iii>titiitiiiii dl" slavci-y played a iiiiiiui- pail in (lie [x.liti- 
oal aiiilalioiis of this i-oiintrv so loiijr as onr politics rclatfd 
aloiio to (picstioiis of national jioiicry. Tlic first scrions dillicnltv 
of moil' than local siirnifieaiicc which threatened onr institu- 
tions arose from the imposition of an exciso tax on distilled 
spirits, known as the "Whisky Rehellion." The second, from 
the hostility of the New Knuland States to the war of 1812, 
which serionsly interfered with their commercial tiallic. So 
ureat was this discontent that a convention was calK'il to meet 
at Hartford, Conn., which had in view the secession of the 
States represented from the Tnion. In 1820 was passed what 
is known as the Missouri Compromise, which in effect was simplv 
a truce between two antagonistic revenue systems, while the nidli- 
fication movement was directed against the tariff' system. So that 
up to this time the chief complaint against any legislation of 
our country arose from dissatisfaction to its economic system. 

Prior to the war the North had devoted herself chieHv to trade 
and manufacturing, to mechanic arts and industrial pursuits, 
while the South, owing to its easier lines of life, the fertility of 
its soil, witli its genial climate and "peculiar institution," had 
turned her attention to the science of politics and a consideration 
of governmental affairs, the consecjuence of which was that the 
controlling voice and influence in the councils of the nation 
rested with her. As the North, by its industry and enterprise, 
grew in wealth and the development of a more liberal educa- 
tion, she became impatient and restless under this control, and 
resolved at all hazards to escape from it. Free-soilism and abo- 
litionisn), which up to this time had been the obedient hand-maid 
to any party that would lend its co-operation, w<re believed to 
be the j)otential elements by which to arouse the apprehensions 
of the South as to the security of slavery and thus tend to the 
arrangement of parties on sectional lines, j'^om this time for- 
ward the leading statesmen of the South were denounced ami 
vilified as aristocrats and slave-drivers; and on tlje recurrence 
of every national contest this new party resorted to every device 
to create animosities between the sections. At this time the 



8 



Democratic party was so strong it became factional, and was 
finally disrupted throuoh the political jealousy of its leaders. 
In consequence of their division in the ensuing election four 
presidential candidates were offered for the suffrage of the peo- 
ple, and Mr. Lincoln was elected. As it was the first time in 
the history of our country that a President had been elected by 
a purely sectional vote, and a large portion of his followers were 
believed to be intent on either the abolition of slavery or a dis- 
ruption of the Union, the gravest apprehensions were felt. The 
situation at that time is so lucidly and graphically described in 
the memoir of Richard H. Dana, recently prepared by Mr, 
Adams, Minister to England under Mr. Lincoln's administra- 
tion, I cannot better present the matter than by using hi.s lan- 
guage: " Looking back on it now, after the lapse of nearly thirty 
years, it is curious to see how earnestly all played their parts and 
how essential to tlie great catastrophe all those parts were. The 
extremists on botli sides were urging the country to immediate 
blows, regardless of consequences, and by so doing they were 
educating it to the necessary j)oint when the hour should come. 
Had the Southern extremists prevailed, and the Southern l)lood 
been fired by an assault on Fort Sumter in January, the slave 
States would probably have been swept into a general insurrec- 
tion while Buchanan was still .President, with Floyd as his Sec- 
retary of War. Had this occurred it is difficult now to see how 
the government could have been preserved. The Southern 
extremists, therefore, when they urged immediate action were, 
from the Southern point of view, clearly right. El very day then 
lost was a mistake, and, as the result j^roved, an irreparai)le mis- 
take. On the other hand, had the extremists of the North 
prevailed in their demand for immediate action they would 
in the most effective way possible have played the game of 
their opponents. Fortunately they did not prevail, but tluir 
exhortations to action and denunciations of every attempt at 
a compromise educated the country to a fighting point." 

That large and respectable body of patriotic citizens who 
were wedded to the Union and dreaded wai-, and above all 



9 



tliin«j;s a civil war, wrvv in liivor of aiiv coiiipidiMix' wliicli 
niiiilit result in i)it'sorviiii; lianunny In'tweoii the sections. It 
is (litliciilt at tliis time to appreciate the excitement of those 
stormy chiy>. .^^()(^eratio^) and silence was hut little understood 
or ap])rcciatcd. The liriii<;- u|i(iii Suiiitii' Urcd the li(:irl> nt" 
both sections, and I'ollowed, as it was, i)y a call (ti" Mr. Lincoln 
tor troops to make war upon the States, j)romptly welded the 
States of the South into one common bond. They f'i'lt that if 
they must fight they preferred to Hirht the stranger rathei- than 
their neighbors who were contending for the maintenance of 
their own rights, and that to yield to the party in jxiwer at such 
a juncture was but to inviti- further aggressions on their rights, 
and that this would involve their subjugation with the over- 
throw of their most cherished institutions. That no perma- 
ueut compromise was practicable, and that war at some time 
was inevitable must now be clear to all ; that the war has 
taken place; that the abolition of slavery has occurred ; that the 
South has been thiown open to settlement, to free and unem- 
barrassed communication to the outside world; that the greatness 
of our section and the capal>ilitics of our jieopic to maintain our 
free institutions has been manifested, and that the war has proved 
a great educator to all, is now conceded. In turning over the 
government to our Northern friends the much misrepresented 
people of the South can point with j)ride to the fact that the 
declaration that "these united colonies are, and of right ought 
to be, free," was penned by a Southern statesman ; that this decla- 
ration was made good under the leadership of a Southern gen- 
eral ; that "the father of the Constitution" was a Southern 
man; that through a President, a Southern man, our bounda- 
ries were extended from ocean to ocean and from the Gulf to 
the lakes; and that {)rior to the late war all a.ssaidts again.st 
the integrity of the Union were compromised and accommo- 
dated mainly through Southern statesmanship, ^\'hen, after fifty 
years of its existence, the government was turned over to the 
statesmen of the North, in the language of one of her gifted and 
eloquent sons, the South surrendered it to her successors "matcli- 
2 



10 



less in her power, incalculable in her strength, the power and 
the glory of" the M'orld." 
It is of 

STEPHEN D. RAMSEUR 

that we now pro[)ose to speak — his life, his services and his 
lamented death. In the Piedmont section of our State there is 
one county named in honor of that Revolutionary hero, Benja- 
min Lincoln, who at the time was in command of the Conti- 
nental soldiers in Charleston harbor, fighting for the freedom 
and independence of the American colonies. This county was 
originally a part of Mecklenburg, the " Hornets' Nest " of the 
Revolution, and her sons partook of the sturdy patriotism of their 
neighbors. In her territorial limits was fought the battle of Ram- 
seur's Mill and other stirring scenes of like nature. Lincoln, 
though one of the smallest counties in the State, gave to history 
such well-known Revolutionary names as Brevard, Dickson, 
Chronicle and others, which, though less generally known, were no 
less patriotic and determined in upholding their principles. The 
county-seat of Lincoln, with that want of imagination and origi- 
nality for which Americans are celebrated, is called Lincolnton, a 
small village long distinguished for the culture, refinement and 
unobtrusive hosjiitality of its people. While her citizens were not 
wealthy they enjoyed such affluence as enabled them to be inde- 
pendent and self-reliant. About the year 1837 there was born in 
Lincoln county three children, each of whom became distinguished 
in war before attaining his twenty-seventh year, and also from 
among her accomplished daughtei's came the wives of Stonewall 
Jackson, Lieutenant General D. H. Hill and Brigadier General 
Rufus Barringer. Ramseur, Hoke and R. D. Johnson were born 
within a year of each otlier, and for distinguished services in ihe 
field were promoted and entitled to wear the coveted general's 
wreath on their collars. This same county gave to Alabama 
Brigadier General John H. Forney, a gallant soldier, who is 
now, and for years has been, one of her most faithfid and trusted 
members in the national Congress. Born and reared amidst 



11 



siu'li lav(ti-al)U' ami stiimilatin^- siii-nniiitlin^s, it is not a inatlcr 
of Mirprisc that tlii-si- youni; luoii should liavi- htcii prompted l>y 
an h()iioral)le t-iiudatioii to sicnre thosi- pri/''s that wen- justly 
their own, tor ^' h/()i><( iri/l (dl.'" Kntirt'ly IVt-e from the 
" pomp and circuinstantr' oC trjorions war," ever kind and acccs- 
sihlo to those abont him, sUillfnl and ahlc in the lieid, Majoi' 
General Iloke leadily hecann' the idol oC his soldiers. While 
not attaining to so hi>;h a rank, Brigadier General Johnson was 
an able and fearless sohlier. The life of Ramsenr, while briefer, 
was not less brilliant and attractive than that of any of his eotem- 
poraries. It has been elocpiently said by another: ''A book of 
dates, a table of dynasties, a snceession oit kings, or popex, or 
presidents — these in one aspect are history; but if they are to 
attract, or impress, or endnringly infineuce us, behind these dry 
bones of the historian's cabinet there nuist glow and palpitate 
the living lineaments of a man." 

But should we choose an element of pre-eminent power to 
interest mankintl, that element must consist of the life and deeds 
of some prominent actor upon the great theatre of war. While 
raanv admire, enjoy and are improved by the triumphs of the im- 
a^'-ination and the reason the impulse and the heart of the mnlti- 
tude in every age and clime have been taken captive by the great 
actors rather than by the great thinkers among men. This has 
l)een true from the time of Joshua until that of Mahomet, and 
from thence to the present time, and we must conclude that the 
multitude is right. Even the eloquence of Demosthenes, the ora- 
tory of Cicero, the glowing periods of Longinus, the beauties of 
Gibbon, the orpine rhythm of Milton, the profound reasoning of 
Bacon and the marvelous creations of Shakespeare, all have their 
enthusiastic admirers, but the heart of the multitude goes out in 
profound admiration for the courage, the genius and marvelous 
achievements of the great concjuerors of the world. It attends 
them not only in their triuini)s, but accompanies them with its 
sympathy in disappointments and misfortunes. So many elements 
are combined to constitute the truly great commander I will not 
endeavor to enumerate them, but will content myself by saying 



12 



that the popular sentiment that the ideal general displays his 
greatest power upon the battle field is an error, of which the late 
Von Moltke is a notable example. Plis greatest achievements 
consist in so preparing and mobilizing his forces as to virtually 
secure his success before encountering his adversary. Our Revo- 
lutionary period supplies us with an example of one of those 
matchless leaders, who, while he lost the majority of the great 
battles in which he was engaged, yet, even amidst the hardships 
and sufferings of a ''Valley Forge," by his forethought, his 
patience and unselfish patriotism could win and retain the confi- 
deuce and admiration of his troops until he led them to the 
achievement of results which won the admiration of mankind. 
And our late war gave us the example of one who in all respects 
was a fitting complement of the former. Peerless in victory and 
in adversity, he was matchless. Among the many able general 
officers which the exigencies of the late war called to the front, 
Ramseur is entitled to rank high, and gave the most flattering 
promises of still greater achievements. 

Stephen D. Ramseur, the second child of Jacob A. and 
Lucy M. Ramseur, had Revolutionary blood in his veins 
through John Wilfong, a hero who was wounded at King's 
Mountain and fought at Eutaw Springs. He was born in Lin- 
colnton the 31st day of May, 1837. His surroundings were 
well calculated to promote a well developed character and a 
strong self-relying manhood. His parents were members of 
the Presbyterian Church, and did not neglect to see their son 
properly instructed in their religious tenets. They were pos- 
sessed of ample means for their section, and gave to him the 
best advantages of social and intellectual improvement without 
l)eing exposed to the "devices and snares of the outer world." 
To the strong and beautiful character of his mother, Ramseur is 
said to have been indebted for the greater part of his success in 
life. In preparing the life of Dr. Thoruwell, Rev. Dr. Palmer 
has asserted a truth Avhich may be classed as a proverb: "The 
pages of history will be searched in vain for a great man who 
had a fool for his mother." In writin<>; of her the Hon. David 



13 



Sc'hciu'k, who mairii'il Sullic Wilioiit;, her second daughter, 
says: '* As a yoiiiiu- lady Aw was said to liavc Im'cii hcantiCid and 
attractive. I knew Iut intimately from 1.S4'.) to lier death. Shi- 
was a woman of oieat force of character. To a jnd<:;ment clear 
and firm she nnited jrenth'iies.s, tenderness and sympathy. Her 
manners were easy and eonrteons and fascinating, f^he was an 
active and devoted memher of the Presbyterian Chnrch, and 
bronii,ht uj) hci- chilthcn in the teachings of the shoi-ter cate<'hism 
from their early youth. It was to her that CJeneral Kamseur 
owed the mental and moral tonndations of his character." lie 
receivecj his jncnaratory trainin*:; in the schools of Lincolnton 
and in the village of Milton, then he matriculated at David- 
son College, entered the Freshman cla.ss and passed eigliteen 
months at this institution. He early displayed that decision of 
character and force of will that distinguished him in after life. 
He had an ardent longing for a military career, and though dis- 
appointed in his efforts to secure an aj)pointment as a cadet at 
the United States Military Academy, he was not cast down. 
Through the aid of General D. H. Hill, then a professor at 
Davidson, his second application was successfid. He was given 
his appointment to the Academy by that sturdy old Roman, the 
Hon. Burton Craige, who before the days of rotation in office 
was long an able and distinguished member <if Congress from 
our State. Ramseur spent the usual term of five years at the 
Academy and was graduated with distinction in the class of 1860. 
Among his class-mates of national reputation were Generals 
.lames H. Wilson and Merritt, Colonel Wilson, Commandant at 
United States Military Academy, and Colonel A. C. M. Penning- 
ton, U. S. A. 

Through his courtesy, sincerity and the conscientious discharge 
of his duties while at West Point he formed manv valued 
friendships both among his fellow-students and in the corps. 
After graduating, Ramseur entered the light artillery service 
and was commissioned Second Lieutenant by brevet. He was 
in the United States army but a .short time prior to the break- 
ing out of hostilities, and during that time was assigned to 



14 

duty at Fortress Monroe. In April, 1861, he resigned his com- 
mission in the old army and promptly tendered his sword to the 
Provisional Government of the Confederate States, then assem- 
bled at Montgomery. By this government he was commissioned 
First Lieutenant of Artillery and ordered to the department of 
Mississippi. About this time a battery of artillery was being 
formed at Raleigh, whose membership was comprised of the 
flower of the patriotic youth of the State. It was called "the 
Ellis Artillery," in honor of our then very able and patri- 
otic Governor, whose early death by phOiisis was an irreparable 
loss to our State in the early days of the war. The officers were 
Manly, Saunders, Guion and Bridgers, who, owing to our long 
peace establishment, were not familiar with even the rudiments 
of the drill. Therefore, with more patriotism than selfish emu- 
lation, they promptly applied through Lieutenant Saunders to 
their friend the Governor for some suitable and reliable com- 
mander. With a pardonable pride in so fine a company, Gov- 
ernor Ellis had doubtless previously considered this subject in 
his own mind. At all events, so soon as the request was made 
known he promptly replied: "I have the very man. You 
couldn't get a better. It is Lieutenant Ramseur." Thereupon 
a dispatch was sent tendering him the command, which reached 
him on his way to his new field of duty. He accepted the unso- 
licited but none the less coveted distinction of repelling the 
invasion of his native State in command of her own sous, and 
repaired at once to Raleigh. On arriving at the camp of 
instruction near this place he found a first-class command of 
raw recruits without equipments or discipline or the remotest 
conception of the magnitude of the great contest before them. 
Many had joined the artillery because it was known to be one of 
the higher and more attractive branches of the service. They 
concurred with Secretary Seward, that the war was a matter of 
a few months, or else with Vice-President Stephens, that for 
the defense of their firesides gentlemen should not be kept in 
camps of instruction and discipline, but permitted to remain at 
their homes, for they were capable of judging when the enemy 



15 



should 1)0 met, and by what methods most easily defeated. If 
ihey had read of war it was, in books which gave it such gloss 
and glamour as iw.nlr every battle magnificent, if not positively 
delectable, for such, indeed, is the general cnn-ent of ])oj)nlar 
history. Not so Kamscur, who had been taught in (he school 
where the art of war is thoroughly explained, the discij)line and 
drudgery of soldier life daily seen and the distinctions and 
advantages of rank recognized and respected. His education 
and expci'ience led him to concur with Viscount Woolsey, who, 
in speaking of war, declares that active service teaches us some 
painful lessons: "That all men are not heroes; that the (jualitv 
as well as quantity of their courage dilfers largely; that some 
men are i)ositivcly cowtirds; that there always is, always has 
been, and always will be, a good deal of skulking and malinger- 
ing; it teaches us not to expect too much from any body of men; 
above all things to value the truly brave men as worth more 
than all the talkers and spouters who have ever squabbled for 
place in the arena of politics." Ramseur was well satisfied with 
the esprit tie corpn of his command, and resolved to emj)lov it to 
the best advantage. To do this his men must have a knowledge 
of tactics, discipline, and subordination was indispen.sable. He 
had considered all this, determined what was right, and whether 
it consorted with the wishes and inclinations of those who 
belonged to the command or not was not material with him. 
Indeed, duty was his jxdar star. He did not willingly .sever his 
connection from the old army, but wlu;n called on to elect whether 
he woidd fight for or against his people and his State there was 
no hesitancy, no d()ul)t as to where his duty lay, and he threw 
his wht)le soul and energies into the cause of the South. This 
company was composed of twelve months men. Ramseur 
wanted .soldiers, and wanted them for the war. This being 
known, .some, a few members of the company, began to become 
discontented. They feared they were to be treated as regular 
soldiers, and insisted that inasmuch as they had volunteered only 
fur twelve months that should the company be reorganized for 
the war they were entitled to withdraw. They were good men 



16 



and did not desire to leave the service: they were allowed to with- 
draw, and in other fields made valient soldiers. The reorgani- 
zation of the battery was soon completed, all elements of discord 
eliminated, and, under the skillful management and discipline of 
its new Captain, made admirable progress. The great thing now 
was to secure its guns and equipments, and in this the company 
was aided by its name and the patriotic ardor of the citizens of 
Raleigh. At this time there was only one field battery availa- 
ble, and for it another company was applying. The name and 
jiersonnel of the Ellis Artillery won the prize, while the volun- 
tary subscriptions of our citizens supplied it with horses. Being 
without tents or suitable parade grounds, Mr. William Boy- 
Ian tendered it his residence and out-buildings for shelter and 
ample grounds as a camp for instruction. The offer was accepted, 
and here the company received that impress which, when called 
to Virginia and brought in comparison with others, carried off 
the palm for their soldierly bearing, their splendid drill and 
handsome equipment. In the latter part of the summer of 1861 
the company was ordered to Smithfield, Va., where the fall and 
winter months were spent without graver duties than occasional 
reconnoissances to and from Norfolk. McClellan's army was 
now near Washington, confronted by that of General Joe Johns- 
ton, while the public mind of the North was becoming very 
impatient at its inaction, and began to renew the cry of "On to 
Richmond!" which had been so popular before the inglorious 
defeat of the Federal army at Manassas. McClellan, unable to 
resist this clamor, determined to endeavor to reach the Con- 
federate capital by way of the lower Chesapeake, and on trans- 
ports transferred his army to the Peninsular and sat down before 
Yorktown. It is estimated that McClellan at this time had an 
army of not less than one hundred and twenty thousand men fit 
for duty. This force was to l)e confronted and delayed until 
Johnston could arrive by thirteen thousand Confederates under 
J. B. Magruder, who, in order to accomj)lish this purpose, was 
compelled to cover a front of thirteen miles with his small force. 
The work was done, and with consummate ability, and it is no 



17 



tlisnarai'-oment lo others to sav there was no otlicer in either 
armv better (|iialilie»l to play such a game ol" bhilV than the 
genial, whole-souled Magrudtr. Raniseur was ordered to report 
with his battery at Vorktnwu. When he arrived Magruder, 
who had known him in the old .aiiny, detached liini from hi.- 
battery and placed him in cotnmaml of all the artillery on his 
ri'dil. Here Kamseur saw his first active service in the field, 
and received the promotion of Mait)r. On the arrival of the 
forces of McC'lellan a campaign of maneuvering commenced 
which delayed advance for over a month. In the meantime 
Ramseur had been elected Lieutenant Colonel of the Third Regi- 
ment of Volunteers, but declinid to leave his battery. Subse- 
(juentlv, and before serious demonstrations had begun, he was 
elected Colonel of the Forty-ninth Regiment of Infantry. He 
was still reluctant to leave his battery, but appreciating the fact 
that Manly and its other officers were then well qualified for 
any duties that might be required of them, through the per- 
suasiou of friends he was induced to accept the promotion. Sub- 
sequent events soon justified his confidence in this artillery com- 
pany. At the battle of Williamsburg, where it received its first 
baptism of fire, it gathered fadeless laurels which it was des- 
tined to wear throughout the war with a fame still augmenting. 
The Forty-ninth Regiment was composed of raw recruits who 
were gathered together in the camp of instruction at Raleigh, 
organized into companies and regiments and instructed as to its 
duties in the field. With his accustomed energy and ability 
Ramseur immediately addressed himself to the labor of making 
soldiers out of these new recruits. By constant drill he soon 
had his regiment in fair condition; and, as the emergency was 
pressing, he moved with it to the point of danger. The regi- 
ment was assigned to the brigade of an (»ld army officer. General 
Robert Ransom, who was soon to become a distinguished Major 
General of cavalry in the Army of Northern Virginia and 
theuce to be assigned to the command of all the cavalry under 
Longstreet in his operations in the West. In the series of bat- 
ties around Richmond, known as the "Seven Days' Fight," 
3 



Ramseur, while gallantly leading his regiment in the battle of 
Malvern Hill, received a severe and disabling wound through 
the right arm, but declined to leave the field until the action was 
over. This wound necessitated his removal to Richmond, where 
he was detained for over a month before his injury permitted 
him to enjoy the much-coveted pleasure of a visit to his home. 
Indeed, the arm was broken, and he was ever afterwards com- 
pelled to wear it in a sling. 

In his report General Ransom speaks of the conspicuous gal- 
lantry of Ramseur and his men, and it was by reason of his 
soldierlv qualities mainly, displayed upon this occasion, that his 
promotion to the rank of 

BRIGADIER GENERAL 

soon followed. While still at home wounded Ramseur received 
notice of his unexpected promotion. At first he doubted whether 
one so young should accept so responsible a position, and was dis- 
posed to decline the promotion. His friends did not coincide in his 
views, and through their persuasion he was induced to accept it. 
In October, 1862, with his arm still disabled, he went to Rich- 
mond to make a decision" in regard to the brigade oflPered him. 
While there he called upon Mr. Davis, alike distinguished as a 
soldier and a statesman, to whom he expressed the fears then 
agitating his mind. In that affable and engaging manner pecu- 
liar to himself, Mr. Davis at once dismissed any suggestion of 
his declining, and on the contrary urged him to accept the com- 
mand, return home and remain until he had entirely recovered 
his health and his strength. But Ramseur obeyed only in part 
the suggestions of his Commander-in-chief. He accepted the 
command of the brigade and went at once to the Army of 
Northern A^irginia, and, with his wound still green, entered upon 
the discharge of his duties. This brigade was then composed 
of the Second Regiment, organized and instructed by that able 
tactician, scholarly and accomplished gentleman, Colonel C. C. 
Tew, who was killed at Sharpsburg; the Fourth by the chiv- 
alrous and lamented Brigadier General George B. Anderson, 



19 



wliii (lii'il of woiinds ivccivctl at Sharpsburg ; the l^'oiirti'ditli, 
before its reorganization, was eoiiuiianded and instructed hv that 
soldierly and ardent North Oii'olinian, ]iri<iailier (ieneral Junius 
Daniel, who fell in the 8pottsylvania (•ainj)ai<i;n ere his eoniniis- 
sion as a Major (General had reaehed him; and the 'riiirtieth 
l)y Colonel F. M. Parker, the brave soldier and courteous gen- 
tleman, of whom further mention will be made during the course 
of this narrative. Ramseur, "liUe ai)ples of gold in j)ictures of 
silver," was aptly and fitly chosen the worthy c-ommander of 
this distinguished brigade, and immediately addressed himself to 
its reorganization. His admirable qualifications for his duties 
and his pure and chivalrous character were soon recognized and 
appreciated and infused new life and spirit into the command. 
Asa disciplinarian he was rigid; as a tactician, skillful; as a 
judge of men, good; as a redressor of wrongs, prompt; as an 
officer, courteous and urbane; as a soldier, fearless and chival- 
rous. He early commanded the respect and ultimately won the 
hearts of all over whom he held command* This brigade at 
the time he assumed command was in Rodes' Division of Jack- 
son's Corps. Ramseur remained in command without events of 
any particular in)portance occurring until he entered upon his 

CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN. 

His report of that famous battle is so full and complete, and so 
clearly displays the unselfish and chivalrous nature of this officer, 
I am confident I cannot do better than to incorporate it as a part 
of this sketch. It reads as follows: 

"May 23, 1864. 

"Sir:— In obedience to Orders No. — , dated May 7th, 1863, 
I have the honor to submit the following report of the opera- 
tions of my brigade in the series of skirmishes and battles open- 
ing at Massaj)onax Creek and ending in the splendid victorv at 
Chancellorsville : 

"Wednesday a. m., April 'iOth, the brigade was placed below 
Massaponax Creek to dispute the enemy's crossing, and remained 



20 



in that position, occasionally annoyed by their artillery (by which 
I lost a few men) and kept on the alert by picket firing until 
Thursday evening, when we were withdrawn to a point near 
Hamilton's Crossing. 

"Friday, May 1st, at 3 a. m., we were aroused for the march 
and led the advance of Major General Rodes' Division in the 
direction of Chancellorsville. At a distance of seven miles from 
Fredericksburg we were detached from onr own division and 
ordered to report to Major General Anderson, when we advanced 
upon the enemy, who fell back in confusion before our sharp- 
shooters for several miles, strewing the way with their arms and 
baggage, this brigade, with General Posey on our right and Gen- 
eral Wright on our left, for upwards perhaps of two miles, 
being in advance. About 6 P. m. we found the foe in force upon 
our front and supported by batteries that poured grape unsparingly 
into the woods through which we were still advancinjj. Night 
approaching a halt was ordered, and we slept on our arms with 
a strong picket line on the outposts. 

"Saturday, May 2d, we were relieved about sunrise and shortly 
thereafter marched by a series of circuitous routes and with sur- 
passing strategy to a position in the rear of the enemy, whom 
at about 5 P. M. we were ordered to attack. 

"This brigade was directed to support Brigadier General Col- 
quitt, with orders to overlap his right by one regiment, and was 
placed accordingly. At the command we advanced with the 
division, preserving a distance of about one hundred yards in 
the rear of General Colquitt. Brisk firing was soon heard upon 
our front and left, indicating that General Doles had encountered 
the foe. At this point General Colquitt moved by the right 
flank, sending me word by an officer of his staff that the enemy 
was attempting to turn his right. I immediately moved by the 
right flank, but heard no firing in that quarter. Again he sent 
his staff officer to infi)rm me that the enemy was passing by his 
right flank, when I directed him to say to General Colquitt (in 
effect) that the firing indicated a sharp fight with General Doles, 
and that my impression was that his support was needed there, 



21 

ami tl):it I would take carr ».f his rioht Hank. ( Jciicral ('oI(|niit 
inovt'd to tliL' iVont, with the exi-cjjtioii of oiw ivgimeiit, whidi 
(•(mtimu'd t(» tUv riijht. I thi'ii pressed on hy the rij^ht Hank to 
meet the eiuiuy tiiat ( Jeiicral C'ohjtiilt's statl' officer twice rejioitcd 
to me to he in that direction, and prosecuted the .search for hall" 
a mile perhaps, hut not a solitary Yankee was to i)e seen. I 
then came np to the division line and moved l)v the left flank to 
the silpport of (Jeneral Colquitt, whose men were resting; in line 
of hattle on the field (ireneral Doles had won. 

"Saturday niglit our division occupied the last Hue of Uittle 
within the intrenchments from which the routed corps of Sigel 
had fled iu terror. My brigade w^as placed perpendicular to the 
plank-road, the left resting on the road, General Doles on my 
right and Colonel (E. A.) O'Xeal, commanding Rodes' Brigade, 
on my left. I placed Colonel (F. M.) Parker, Thirtieth North 
Carolina, on the ^right of my brigade; Colonel (R. T.) Bennett, 
Fourteenth North Carolina, on right centre; Colonel (\V. R.) 
Cox, Second North Caroliua, left ceutre, and Colonel (Brvan) 
Grimes, Fourth North Carolina, on left. 

"Sunday, May 3d, the division, being as stated, in the third line 
of battle, advanced about 9 o'clock to the support of the second 
line. After proceeding about one-fourth of a mile I was applied 
to by Major (W. J.) Pegram for supj)ort to his battery, ^-hen I 
detached Colonel Parker, Thirtieth North Carolina, for this pur- 
pose, with orders to advance obliquely to his front and left and 
join mc after his support should be no longer needed, or to fight 
his regiment as circumstances might recpiire. I continued to 
advance to the first line of breastworks, from which the enemy had 
beeu driven, and behind which I found a small portion of Paxton's 
Brigade and Jones' Jirigade, of Trimble's Division. Knowing that 
a general advance had been ordered, 1 told these troops to move 
forward. Not a man moved, I then reported this state of things 
to Major General Stuart, who directed me to assume command 
of these troops and compel them to advance. This I essaved to 
do, and, after fruitless efforts, ascertained that General Jones was 
not on the field and that Colonel (T. S.) Garnett had been killed, 



22 



I reported again to General Stuart, who was near, and requested 
permission to run over the troops in my front, which was cheer- 
fully granted. At the command "Forward !" my brigade, with 
a shout, cleared the breastworks and charged the enemy. The 
Fourth North Carolina (Colonel Grimes) and seven companies 
of the Second North Carolina (Colonel Cox) drove the enemy 
before them until they had taken the last line of his works, 
which they held under a severe, direct and enfilading fire, repul- 
sing several assaults on this portion of our front. The Four- 
teenth North Carolina (Colonel Bennett) and three companies of 
the Second were compelled to halt some one hundred and fifty 
or two hundred yards in rear of the troops just mentioned for 
the reason that the troops on my right had failed to come up 
and the enemy was in heavy force on my right flank. Had 
Colonel Bennett advanced the enemy could easily have turned my 
right. As it was, my line was subjected to a horrible enfilading 
fire, by which I lost severely. I saw the danger threatening 
my right, and sent several times to Jones' Brigade to come to ray 
assistance, and I also went back twice myself and exhorted and 
ordered it (officers and men) to fill up the gap (some five or six 
hundred yards) on my right, but ail in vain. I then reported 
to General Rodes that unless support was sent to drive the 
enemy from my right I would have to fall back. In the mean- 
time Colonel Parker of the Thirtieth North Carolina, approach- 
ing from the battery on the right, suddenly fell upon the flank 
and repulsed a heavy column of the enemy who were moving to 
get in ray rear by my right flank, some three or four hundred of 
them surrendering to him as prisoners of war. The enemy still 
held his strong position in the ravine on my rigiit, so that the 
Fourteenth North Carolina and the three comj)anies of the Second 
North Carolina could not advance. The eneray discovered this 
situation of affairs and pushed a brigade to the right and rear of 
Colonel Grimes and seven companies of Colonel Cox's (Second 
North Carolina), with the intention of capturing their com- 
raands. This advance was made under a terrible direct fire of 
musketry and artillery. The move necessitated a retrograde 



2a 



inovt'inciit oil till' \K\vi of Colonels (irimcs and Cox, wliicii was 
exec'uletl in order, bnt with the loss of some prisoners, who did not 
hear the coniniund to retire. (\)Ionel Bennett held his position 
nntil ordereil to fiill hack, and, in eommon with all the others, 
to repli'iiish his empty cartridge-boxes. The enemy did not halt 
;it this position, but retired to his battery, from which lie was 
(juicUly (iriven. Colonel Parker of the; Thirtieth North Carolina 
sweepiiii;' over it with tlii' troops on my right. 

"After re})lenishing cartridge-boxes I received an order from 
Major General Kodes to throw my brigade on the left of the 
road to meet an apprehended attack of the enemy in that quar- 
ter. This was done, and afterwards I was moved to a position 
on the plank-road which was intrenched, and which we occupied 
until the division w^as ordered back to camp near Hamilton's 
Crossing. 

" The charge of the brigade, made at a critical moment, when 
the enemy had broken and was hotly pressing the centre of the 
line in our front with apparently overwhelming numbers, not only 
checked his advance but threw him back in disorder and pushed 
him with heavy loss from his last line of works. 

"Too high praise cannot be accredited to officers and men for 
their gallantry, fortitude and manly courage during this brief 
but arduous campaign. Exposed as they had been for five days 
immediately preceding the fights on the picket line, they were, 
of course, somewhat wearied, bnt the order to move forward and 
confront the enemy brightened every eye and quickened every 
stej). Under fire all through Wednesday, Wetlnesday night and 
Thursday, without being able effectually to return this fire, they 
bore all bravely, and led the march towards Chancellorsville on 
Friday morning in splendid order. The advance of the brigade 
ou Friday afternoon was made under the very eyes of our 
departed hero (Jackson) and of Major General A. P. Hill, whose 
words of praise and commendation, bestowed upon the field, we 
fondly cherish. And on Sunday the magnificent charge of the 
brigade upon the enemy's last and most terrible stronghold was 
made in view of Major General Stuart and our division com- 



24 



mander, Major General R. E. Rodes, whose testimony that it 
was the most glorious charge of that most glorious day, we are 
proud to remember aud report to our kindred and friends. 

"To enumerate all the officers and men who deserve special 
mention for their gallantry would he to return a list of all 
who were on the field. All met the enemy with unfiinching 
courage; and for privations, hardships, and splendid marches, 
all of which were cheerfully borne, they richly deserve the thanks 
of our beautiful and glorious Confederacy. 

"I cannot close without mentioning the conspicuous gallantry 
and great efficiency of my regimental commander. Colonel Par- 
ker of the Thirtieth North Carolina was detached during the 
fight of Sunday to support a battery, and having accomplished 
that object moved forward on his own responsibility and greatly 
contributed to wrest the enemy's stronghold at Chancellorsville 
from their grasp as well as prevent their threatened demonstra- 
tions upon the right of my brigade; the gallant Grimes of the 
Fourth North Carolina, whose conduct on other fields gave 
promise of what was fully realized on this; Colonel Bennett of 
the Fourteenth North Carolina, conspicuous for his coolness 
under the hottest fire, and last, though not least, the manly and 
chivalrous Cox of the Second North Carolina, the accomplished 
gentleman, splendid soldier, and warm friend, who, though 
wounded five times, remained with his regiment until exhausted. 
lu common with the entire comniand, I regret his temporary 
absence from the field, where he loved to be. 

"Major Daniel W. Hurtt, Second Norjth Carolina State 
Troops, commanded the skirmishers faithfully and wt^ll. 

"To the field and company officers, one and all, my thanks 
are due for the zeal and bravery displayed under the most try- 
ing circumstances. 

"To the gentlemen of my staff I owe especial thanks for ser- 
vices rendered on the march and upon the field. Captain Seaton 
Gales, Assistant Adjutant General, and Lieutenant Caleb Rich- 
mond, Aide-de-catnp, were with me all the time, promptly car- 
rying orders under the very hottest fire. I take pleasure, too. 



25 



in s|)eiiking of the braveiv of private James Stinson, eourier, 
a youth of twenty, who displayed (pialities a veteran ini^ht boast 
of", anil of the eondnrt of private J. B. Jk'ggarly, also a courier 
to headquarters. 

"To Dr. G. \V. Brings, Senior Surgeon of the brigade, my 
thanks are due for his zeal, skill, and care of the wounded. 
"I am, sir, very respeet fully, 

" Your obetiient servant, 

"Stephen D. Ramseih, 
"Brigadier General Cominandimjy 

In the report of this battle by Major General Rodes he 
makes the following remarks as to the part borne by Ramseur's 
Brigade : 

" While these movements were taking place on the left, Ram- 
seur and Doles pushed forward on the right, passed the first line 
of iiitrenelunents, which had already been carried, passed the 
first and second lines of our troops, and became fiercely engaged. 
Doles deflecting to the right, passed up a ravine behind the grave- 
yard on Chancellor's Hill, and finally came out iu the field nearly 
opposite the house, driving the enemy before him as he advanced, 
actually getting several hundred yards t(» the rear as well of 
those troops opposing the rest of my division as of those oppos- 
ing General Anderson's Division. Subsequently he was com- 
pelled to fall back and was directed by General Lee to take a 
large body of j)risoners. Ramseur, after vainly urging the 
troops in the first line of intrenchment to move forward, obtained 
permission to pass them, and, dashing over the works, charged 
the second intrenchment in the most brilliant style. The strug- 
gle at this point was long and obstinate, but the charge on the 
left of the plank-road at this time caused (he enemy to give way 
on his left, and this, conii)ined with the unHincliing determina- 
tion of his men, carried the day and gave hini possession of the 
works. Not being supported, he was exposed still to a galling 
fire from the right, wiih great danger of being flanked. Not- 
4 



26 



withstandiug repeated efforts made by hira, and hy myself in 
person, none of the troops in his rear would move up until the 
old "Stonewall Brigade" arrived on the ground and gallantly 
advanced in conjunction with the Thirtieth North Carolina Regi- 
ment, Colonel F. M. Parker, of Ramseur's Brigade, which had 
been detached to support a battery, and was now on its return. 
Occupying the works on the right of Ramseur, and thus reliev- 
ing him when his ammunition was nearly exhausted, tiie Stone- 
wall Brigade pushed on and carried Chancel lorsvi lie heights, 
making the third time that they were captured." 

In this battle Ramseur, though severely wounded, decli^ied 
to leave the field, and is especially mentioned by Rodes as one 
who was ''distinguisfied for great gallantry and efficiency in this 
action." 

It will be remembered that it was here that that great ideal 
soldier of the Army of Northern Virginia, who stood second 
only to Lee, Stonewall Jackson, fell mortally wounded, and was 
carried from the field. His command then devolved on A. P. 
Hill, who was wounded, and then upon General J. E. B. 
Stuart, whose plume, like that of Harry of Navarre, was 
always seen conspicuous in the thickest of the affray. While 
each of these Generals mentioned Ramseur and his brigade in 
the most flattering terms, I will not* stop to quote from their 
reports. I prefer to hasten on and call your attention to what 
will be recognized by every soldier (»f that army as one of the 
highest compliments and most distinguished tributes that could 
have been paid to Ramseur and his command. I beg you to 
pause and reflect upon the force and power of each expression. 
It emanates from one not given to compliments, but who, in all 
of his public communications, seemed to weigh and carefully con- 
sider each word that he used. I am confident that the existence 
of this letter was not known either to Ramseur or to any of his 
command when written, and came to my notice for the first time 
only very recently. 



27 

(IKNKUAI. I.KK's TKIIU'TK. 
It i>':uls as follows: 

" IlKAlHilAUTEltS AuMY OF NoUTHKUN ViKcilMA, 

'MuiR' itii, i,s(j;j. 
"His Excellency Zkiuilon B. Vance, 

" (fovernor of North Carolina, UalcUjli: 

"Governor: — I liave tlio honor to (^11 the attention of your 
Excel U'lU'v to the reduced condition of Brigadier General liara- 
seur's Brigade. Its ranks have heen much tliinned hy the casu- 
alties of the battles iu which it has been engaged, in all of which 
it has reudered conspicuous service. I consider its brigade and 
regimental commanders as among the best of their respective 
o-rades in the armv, and in the battle of Ciiancellorsville, where 
the brii>-ade was much distinguished and suffered severely, Gen- 
eral Ramseur was among those whose conduct was especially 
commended to my notice by Lieutenant General Jackson in a 
message sent to me after he was wH)unded. I am very desirous 
that the efficiency of this brigade should be increased by filling 
its ranks, and respectfully ask that, if it be in your power, you 
will send on recruits for its various regiments as soon as possible. 
If this cannot be done I would recommend that two additional 
regiments be sent to it if they can l>e had. I am satisfied that 
the men could be used in no better way to render valuable ser- 
vice to thecountry^and win credit for themselves and their State. 
"I am, with great respect, 

Your obedient servant, 

(Signed) " R. E. Lee, 

" General^ 

Mark the language: "I consider its brigade and regimental 
commanders the best of their respective grades in the army." 
What army? The Army of Northern Virginia! The best on 
the continent I Who sends a message to Lee about Ramseur 
that is worthy to be repeated to the Governor of the State? 
Stonewall Jackson, from his i)ed of anguish. No higher eulogy 
could be pronounced. 



28 



After the battle of Cliaucellorsville, Ramseiir, with his brigade, 
accompanied the army of Lee in its invasion of Pennsylvania. 
In connection with Rodes' Division, in the first day's fight at 
Gettysburg they secured the elevated ridge known as Oak Hill, 
which was the key-note of the entire field. Swinton, in his 
"Army of the Potomac," says: "When towards three o'clock a 
general advance was made by the Confederates, Rodes speedily 
broke through the Union centre, carrying away the right of the 
First Corps and the left of the Eleventh, and, entering the inter- 
val between them, disrupted the whole line." The Federaf troops 
fell back in much disorder, anil were pursued by our troops 
through the town of Gettysburg. This was our opportunity to 
have seized the heights, the subsequent assaults on which proved 
so disastrous to us during the progress of this battle. Ramseur 
urged that the pursuit should be continued until Cemetery 
Heights were in our possession. The light of subsequent events 
shows that he was clearly in the right. Our friends in Vir- 
ginia are fond of boasting of the advanced position of their troops 
at Gettysburg. It is a thing to be boasted of. Her sons were gal- 
lant and martial, and far be it from me to detract one tittle from 
the fame to which they are entitled, yet it is but an act of jus- 
tice to call attention to the fact that the only two brigades which 
entered the works of Cemetery Heights on the second day of 
the battle were Hoke's North Carolina and Hays' Louisiana 
brigades. The former was then under the command of that 
gallant soldier and accomplished gentleman, Colonel Isaac E. 
Avery, who lost his life on this occasion while gallantly leading 
his brigade on the heights on the 2d of July. In his roport of 

this battle, Early says: 

* * * * ******* 

"As soon as Johnson became warmly engaged, which was a 
little before dusk, I ordered Hays and Avery to advance and 
carry the works on the heights in front. These troops advanced 
iu gallant style to the attack, passing ovei' the ridge in front of 
them under a heavy artillery fire, and there crossing a hollow 
between that and Cemetery Hill, and moving up this hill in the 



29 



tiuv !)(' at least two liius of inCaiitry posted Ix'liimI stone and 
plaiik fences, and passing over all obstacles, tlicy reached tlie 
crest of the hill an<l entered the enemy's i)reast\vorIvs, crossing 
it, getting possession of one or two batteries." 

Brigadier General Ivorson, of Georgia, had manifested >neh 
a want of capacity in the field at Gettysburg he was relieved of 
his command and assigned to provost guard duty. Asa further 
mark of Lee's appreciation of Ivamseur this brigade was assigned 
temporarily to his command, in addition to the one he already 
commanded. 

In the various skirmishes and battles of this campaign liam- 
seur displayed his usual efficiency and gallantry. After return- 
ing from Pennsylvania our troops went into winter quarters 
near Orange Court House, and as it was clear that after the 
exhaustive campaigns of the year we would enjoy a period of 
comparative quiet, Ramseur obtained a leave of absence for the 
purpose of entering into the most important relations of one's 
life. He had long been attached to and was then engaged to 
Miss Ellen E. Richmond, of Milton, but the consummation of 
his hopes had been often deferred by the exigencies of the pub- 
lic service. He was t)ow made supremely happy in their mar- 
riage, which occurred on the 22d of October, 18(33. 

The successive failures of the Army of the Potomac in its en- 
gagements with the Army of Northern Virginia created a general 
apprehension throughout the North tiiat uidess something more 
satisfactory was accomplished the successful issue of the war was 
becoming a most doubtful problem. This prompted the nomi- 
nation of General Grant to the grade of Lieutenant General and 
he was assigned to the command of "all the armies of the United 
States." One of the conditions of his acceptance was that he 
should not be ham|)ered in the discharge of his duties by the 
central authorities at Washington — a wise and judicious precau- 
tion, which else had resulted in his supersedure after his terril)le 
losses at Coal Harbor, where, according to Swinton, he had thir- 
teen thousand of his men killed and wounded within (he space 
of two hours, and this without inflicting but little loas on his 
adversary. 



30 



On the morning of May 5tli, 1864, over one hundred thou- 
sand of Grant's troops had crossed the Rapidan, and thence fol- 
lowed that series of battles on the overland route to Richmond, 
wherein the killed, wounded and disabled on the part of Grant's 
army were as great as the whole ai-my of Lee when these 
engagements commenced. During this march Ramseur's men 
were frequently engaged in successful skirmishes and battles 
with the enemy, but the great battle in which he shone con- 
spicuously was on the 12th of May, at 

SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 

On the afternoon of the 11th there was severe fighting on our 
right, when Ramseur's men mounted over our works and 
drove the enemy from our front in a hand-to-hand engage- 
ment. It was expected by Lee that during the night Grant 
would withdraw his troops for the purpose of continuing his 
advance on Richmond. In order to be in readiness to confront 
him when he should make this change, Lee had directed that 
the guns in front of Ed. Johnson's Division, in a point in our 
lines known as the "salient," should be withdrawn during the 
night to facilitate our movements in the morning. This fact 
became known to Grant through a deserter from our lines. 
Hancock's Corps was in front of this point, and he was directed 
to approach under the cover of night and a dense fog and assault 
the line at early dawn. The attack resulted most successfully, 
for our works were captured, together with a large number of 
prisoners. To restore in part this line became Ramseur's duty. 
In his report of the action he speaks substantially as follows: 
That in anti(;ipation of an attack on his front on the morning of 
the 12th he had his brigade under arms at early dawn, Veiy 
soon he heard a terrible assault on his right. He therefore 
moved Cox's Regiment, which was in reserve, to a position per- 
pendicular to his line of battle. At this time the enemy was 
massing his troops for a further advance. For the purpose of 
driving him back he formed his brigade in a line {)arallel to the 
two lines held by the enemy. The men in charging were 



31 

(iirocted to koop tlioir allitiiitiu'iit and not pause until hoih lines 
of works were oiii*s. Iltiw gallantly and successfullv these 
orders were exeeuted were witnessed l)y (ienerals Ixodes and 
Ewell. The two lines of Federal troops were driven ix-ll-inell 
out and over both lines of our orijrinal works with <rrcat loss. 
The enemy held the breastworks on our ritrlit, enfiladin^r the 
line with destructive tire, at the same time heavily assaulting our 
right front. In this extremity, Colonel liennett of the Four- 
teenth offered to take his regi^raent from left to right, under a 
severe tire, and drive hack the growing masses of the enemy ou 
our right. This hazardous offer was accepted as a forlorn hope, 
and was most successfully executed. To Colonel JJeunett and his 
men, says General Ramseur, and his gallant officers, all honor is 
due. I distiuctly recall the circumstances under which the 
charge was made, aud for cool audacity and uuflinching courage 
I never saw it surpassed. At the time the movement was com- 
menced Colonel Parker's Regiment and the Federals were engaged 
in a hand-to-hand encounter in and over the works, while mv 
regiment was pouring a most destructive fire into the Fedeials in 
our front. "We entered these works at 4 o'clock on the morning 
of the 12th and remained in the works fighting and contending 
for over twenty hours. When relieved, hungry and exhausted, 
we vlropped upon the wet ground and slept most profoundly. 

A correspondent of the London Morning Herald, who had 
familiar access to Lee's headquarters, in a descrii)tion of the hat- 
tie of the Wilderness, gives this vivid account of the action of 
Ramseur's Jirigade on the morning of the Tith : 

''The Federalists continued to hold their ground in the sa- 
lient, and along the line of works, to the left of that angle, 
within a short distance of the position of Monoghan's (Hays') 
Louisianians. Ramseur's North Carolinians of Rodes' Division 
formed, covering Monoghan's right; and being ordered to 
charge, were received by the enemy with a stubborn resistance. 
The desperate character of the struggle along that brigade-front 
was told terribly in the hoarseness and rapidity of its musketry. 
So close was the fighting there, for a time, that the fire of friend 



32 



aud foe rose up rattliug in oue common roar. Ramscur's North 
Carolinians dropped in the ranks thick and fast, but still he 
continued, with glorious constancy, to gain ground, foot by foot. 
Pressing under a fierce fire, resolutely on, on, on, the struggle 
was about to become one of hand to hand, when the Federalists 
shrank from the bloody trial. Driven back, they were not de- 
feated. The earthworks being at the moment in their immedi- 
ate rear, they bounded on the ojjposite side; aud having thus 
placed them in their front, they renewed the conflict. A rush 
of an instant brought Ramseur's men to the side of the de- 
fenses; aud though they crouched close to the slopes, under en- 
filade from the guns of the salient, their musketry rattled in 
deep and deadly fire on the enemy that stood in overwhelming 
numbers but a few yards from their front. Those brave North 
Carolinians had thus, in one of the hottest conflicts of the day, 
succeeded in driving the enemy from the works that had been 
occupied during the previous night by a brigade which, until 
the 12th of May, had uever yet yielded to a foe — the Stone- 
wall." 

In an address before the Army of Northern Virginia, Colonel 
Venable, of Lee's staff", says: "The restoration of the battle on 
the 12th, thus rendering utterly futile the success achieved by 
Hancock's Corps at daybreak, was a wonderful feat of arms, in 
which all the troops engaged deserve the greatest credit for 
endurance, constancy and unflinching courage. But without 
unjust discrimination, we may say that Gordon, Rodes and 
Ramseur were the heroes of this bloody day. * * * * Rodes 
aud Ramseur were destined, alas! in a few short months, to lay 
down their noble lives in the A^alley of Virginia. There was 
no victor's chaplet more highly prized by the Roman soldier 
than that woven of the grass of early spring. Then let the 
earliest flowers of May be always intertwined in the garlands 
which the pious hands of our fair women shall lay on the tombs 
of Rodes and Ramseur, and of the gallant dead of the battle of 
twenty hours at Spottsylvania." 



33 



(n-m-ral Lt»iii:, in liis " Lite ot" Lee," jmts tli<' n;\inc of Kiunsciir 
in till' van ot* tln>sc who rn^licd into this :inn;Io of" death and 
hnrh'd hack the Federals' most savai;e sallies. I)nrin<:; the lonj; 
and tierc-e stiii<;<;le I saw soldiers plaee the arms of their com- 
rades who had just I'allen in such a position as when they had 
l)ee4)me stiH'enod they w<)nKl hold the eartridj^es we were using. 
Yes, Hghting and cxhansted, amidst blood and mnd and brains, 
they would sit on the bodies of their fallen comrades for rest, 
ixnd dared not show even a linger above the breastworks, fur so 
terrible was the lire at this angle that a tree eighteen inehes in 
<liameter was ent asunder by niinnie balls. After the battle was 
over Generals Lee and Ewell thanked Raniseiir in jjerson, an<l 
directed him to carry to his officers and men their high appreci- 
ation of their conspicuous services and heroic daring. At this 
time such portions of the First and Third Regiments as were 
not captured in the salient were placed in the brigade, and it i- 
sufficient praise to bear witness that from that time on to the 
surrender at Apj)omattox their officers and men always showed 
themselves worthy of the highest confidence reposed in them. 
In appreciation of the conspicuous services rendered by Ram- 
seur on this occasion, he was made a Major General and assigned 
to the command of Early's Division, and I had the distinguished 
honor of being assigned to Ramseur's (now to become Cox's) 
historic brigade. 

THK VALLEY OF VIlUilNIA, 

both physically and strategically, is one of the most attractive 
regions of that State. It is not less distinguished for the bril- 
liant aehievements of Stonewall Jackson than for the ardent 
patriotism of its men and the devotion and sacrifices of its 
women to the cause of the South. It was here that Jackson, 
with only a little army of thirteen thousand men, defeated and 
drove from the valley Milioy, Fremont, Banks and Shields, 
whose combined forces were five times as great as his own, 
besides capturing vast quantities of much needed commissary 
and ordnance stores and large numbers of prisoners. After 

5 



34 



the battle of Coal Harbor the Second Corps, composed of Rara- 
seur's, Rodes' and Gordon's Divisions, were placed under the 
command of Early, and directed to proceed to this valley, 
with instructions to capture or destroy the array of Hunter, 
a recreant Virginian, who was marching in the direction of 
Lynchburg, destroying the country as he moved along. Attached 
to this corps was Nelson's and Braxton's battalions of artillery, 
together with a division of cavalry. At this time Breckinridge, 
who, in a brilliant engagement, had recently defeated Sigel, 
was at Lynchburg awaiting our arrival. Our troops were trans- 
ported by rail. Ramseur's and the greater part of Gordon's 
Divisions were sent forward as soon as they were ready. They 
arrived at Lynchburg at about 4 o'clock p. m., on the 17th 
of June. Here they united with Breckinridge and the troops 
of Major General Ransom, who was in command of the whole 
cavalry in the valley. Hunter was in camp near the city of 
Lynchburg. In a letter to me, General Ransom says that at 
this time "he (Ramseur) and I reconnoitered the left flank of 
Hunter's army and found it could be most advantageously 
assailed, and in person reported the fact to General Early, who 
said he would not attack until the whole of Rodes' Division had 
arrived from Richmond. The opportunity to destroy Hunter's 
army was then lost." Hunter took counsel of his fears and 
advantage of the cover of night and darkness to make a hasty 
retreat. Early on the morning of the 19th we commenced a 
pursuit, and just before night overtook the enemy's rear at Ijib- , 
erty, when Ramseur's Division moved on it and drove it through 
the place. It was now ascertained that Hunter had not taken 
the route that we anticipated, but had retreated by way of Beau- 
ford's Gap, where, the next day, he was found occupying a com- 
manding position on the crest of the mountian. After our 
arrival we spent the afternoon in efforts to secure a position from 
which to successfully assail him the following day. Hunter, by 
our failure to promptly pursue at daylight, made his escape, and 
being in the mountains further pursuit was useless. Early, in 
his report, says: "By mistake of the messenger who was sent 



35 

with uiilors t(t ( JnuTal Rodes to li'ad the next iiiiiniiiii;, tlicrc 

was simie ilclay in iiis luovemi'iit (Ui the 2].st, hut the piiiMiit 

was ivsuiiu'd very shortly after sunrise." Alter icstiii;:; a dav 

we resumed the riian-h and rearheil JJiiehaiiaii that nij^ht. Oiii- 

lU'xt important movr was to eross the Potomac into Marvhind. 

We reached Frederick, Md., about the !)th of" the month, when 

Rumsenr, after a slii^ht resistance, moved through the town and 

brushed away the Feiierals before him. Our invasion had so 

alarnicii the Federal capital that General Wallace was directed to 

move at once with .such forces as he had and could collect and 

interpose them between us and Washington. When Wallace 

reached onr front he drew his troops up on the ea-tcrn baid'C 

of the 

MO.NOCACY. 

Kauiseur deplnyed in his front, drove his skirmishers acro>> 
the river and a brief and brisk artillery duel followed. In the 
meantime MeCausland, with his cavalry, crossed the river, 
attacked the Federal left Hank and threw it into confusion, 
which Early discovering, threw forward Gordon's Division, 
commanded by Breckinridge. Gordon moved to the assistance 
of MeCausland, while Ramseur crossed over the railroad bridge 
and fell upon Wallace, who retreated with great precipitation^ 
leaving in our hands six or seven hundred prisoners besides 
his killed and wounded. Our lo'^s in killed and wounded 
was severe, but as this was a sharp and brilliant engagement, 
well |)lanned and spiritedly executed, it infused new life into 
our troops. On the lOth we moved to Koekville. As the weather 
was h(jt and the roads dusty, onr troops were easily fatigued and 
made but slow progress. The next day we resumed the march, 
and in the afternoon reached Seventh street pike, which leads into 
Washington. In a history of the Army of the Potomac, Swiu- 
ton, in sj)caking of this moveujent, says: "By afternoon the 
Confederate infantry had come up and showed a strong line in 
front of Fort Stevens. Early had there an opportunity to dash 
into the citv, the works being very slightly defended. The hope at 
headquarters that the capital could be saved from capture was very 



36 



slender." The truth is, the Sixth and Ninth Corps of Grant's 
army were then en route to save the capital, and for us to have 
entered it at this time might, in the end, have proved a costly 
experiment. Probably more expedition might have been exer- 
cised by us in our march. After reconnoitering and skirmishing 
a couple of days, we turned our backs on the capital, beat a hasty 
retreat to the Potomac, followed by the enemy's cavalry. 

The next engagement of any importance in which Ramseur 
was concerned was at Winchester, where Jie was left with his 
command and a battery of artillery to protect the place from a 
threatened attack from Averill. While here he was informed 
by General Vaughan, in command of the cavalry, that Averill, 
-svith a small force, was at Stephenson's Depot, and could be sur- 
prised and easily captured. Placing too much confidence in these 
representations, Ramseur advanced against him without the 
proper precaution of throwing forward a strong skirmish line, 
and he encountered Averill with a large force of infantry and 
cavalry, and met with a pretty severe repulse. In a letter to me. 
General W. G. Lewis, who was wounded in this engagement, says 
that Ramseur was not altogether responsible for the mistake that 
occurred, for he had every reason to suppose that the informa- 
tion furnished iiy Vaughan was correct. This matter, while not 
of much importance, is referred to simply because it is the only 
instance in which he met with a reverse. The blame properly 
rests upon General Vaughan, who should have been more 
careful in his statements. 

On the 9th of September information reached us that a large 
force had been concentrated at Harper's Ferry, which consisted 
of the Sixth, Nineteenth and Crook's Corps, and was under a 
new commander, who i)roved to be Sheridan. From this time 
on constant maneuvering and skirmishing occurred between the 
two armies, in which Ramseur was more or less prominently 
engaged. Sheridan proved to be a wary, cautious and prudent 
commander. In all of these movements it appeared that his 
purpose was rather to ascertain the strength and character of his 
adversary than to engage him in battle. Early was disappointed 



37 



and (Hstjiisted l)y his wary iiu'tliods, and savs in his " La^( "S'car 
of the \\'ar" that "tht" i-vcnts (if (he last immth had satisfied 
me that the coinniandfr opposing nie was without entL'r|)rise and 
possessed an excessive caution which amounted to timidity. If 
it was his policy to pfoduce the impression that his force was too 
weak to fiyht me, he did not succeed ; hut if it was to convince 
me that he was not an able and enori>;('tic commander, his strategy 
was a complete success, and subscfpient events have not ciianged 
my opinion." Sheridan had recently been transferred from the 
Army of the West, where Lee's methods and "Stonewall Jack- 
son's way" were known as towers of strength. For the first 
time Sheridan was given an independent command, had a whole- 
some dread of our veterans, and also fidly realized the fact that 
upon the result of his first encounter with his adversary there 
was involved an important political as well as military element. 

Grant's campaign from the Wilderness to Coal Harbor had 
been disappointing to the North, where there was a feeling that 
so far the war had been a failure, which, in commenting on, in his 
"Army of the Potomac," Swinton says, that when the records 
of the War Department shall be carefully examined thev will 
develop discoveries of the most startling nature. In speak- 
ing of public sentiment just prior to the battle of Winchester, 
Grant says in his "Memoirs": 

"I had reason to believe that the administration was a little 
afraid to have a decisive battle fought at that time, for fear it 
might go against us and have a bad effect on the November 
elections. The convention which had met and made its nomi- 
nation of the Democratic candidate for the prcsidcncv had 
declared the war a failure. 

"Treason was talked as boldly in Chicago as ever it had been 
at Charleston. 

"It was a question of whether the government would tiien 
have had the power to make arrests and punish those who thus 
talked treason. 

" But this decisive victory was the most cffectivo campaign 
argument made in the canvass." 



38 



In addition to what Grant says, there was another motive 
which made Sheridan timid in encountering- our forces, and pos- 
sibly Grant's presence was necessary to get him u]) to the hght- 
iug point. 

In his "Memoirs," Sheridan says: 

" I had opposing me an army largely composed of troops that 
had operated in this region hitherto under "Stonewall" Jack- 
son with marked success, inflicting defeat on the Union forces 
almost every time the two armies had come in contact. 

" Tiiese men were now commanded by a veteran officer of the 
Confederacy, General Jubal A. Early, whose past services liad 
so signalized his ability that General Lee specially selected him 
to take charge of the Valley District, and notwithstanding the 
misfortunes that befell him later, clung to him to the end of the 
war. The Confederate army at this date was about twenty 
thousand strong, and consisted of Early's own Corj)s, with Gen- 
erals Rodes, Ramseur and Gordon commanding its divisions; 
the infantry of Breckinridge, of Southwestern A^irginia; three 
battalions of artillery, and the cavalry brigades of Vaughan, 
Johnson, McCausland and Imboden." 

Early had marched and countermarched so often in the pres- 
ence of and around Sheridan's army without bringing him to a 
test of strength, he began to think him no better than Hunter, 
and entertained more contempt for than fear of him. He separated 
his divisions at will, and scattered them from Winchester to 
Martinsburg — twenty-two miles — with no greater motive than 
that of interrupting railroad traffic, producing a little diversion 
in Washington, and securing a few commissaries in Martins- 
burg. His last movement in this direction was on the eve of the 

BATTLE OF AVINCHESTEll. 

Of this movement he says that, "having been informed that 
a force was at work on tlie railroad near Martinsl)urg, I 
moved on the afternoon of the 17th of September with Rodes' 
and Gordon's Divisions and Braxton's artillery to Bunker 
Hill; and on the morning of the 18th, with Gordon's Divis- 



39 

i.)ii :ui(l :i inirt of \\w aitilKM-y, 1.) Martiiishnrj;, j,iv<r<lc.l l,y 
a part, of J.uinax's cavalry." It will thus Ih- seen tliMt in 
the presenee of a larirely superior force, and a new an.l untried 
eommander, Early had his troops stretched (.ut and sepa- 
rated like a string of glass l)eads with a kn-.t between each one, 
In a previous move of a similar nature on Martinsburg, at 
liunker Hill, I had been reliably infbrmed that the next time 
Early should make the mistake of separating his command 
Sheridan intendeil to attack and endeavor to crush his troops in 
<letail. This iaet 1 commiuiicated to General Rodes, who rei)lie(l : 
"I know it. I have told Early as much"; and with much 
irritation of manner, said: ''I can't get him to believe it." 

On the morning of the 19th the booming of cannon was 
heard in the direction of Winchester. As skirmishing at this 
time was frequent, we could not positively decide as to what it 
portended. Rodes was now at Stephenson's Depot, Breckin- 
ridge and Gordon at Buuker Hill, and Ramseur at Winchester. 
Rodes received orders to "move out," but was not directed where 
to go. We moved out, took position behind a rock wall north 
of the road intersecting the Winchester road, where we anx- 
iously awaited further orders for the space of two hours. All 
this time Ramseur, with his seventeen hundred men, was actively 
engaged with Sheridan's advance corps. Had we have been 
properly directed, we coidd have moved forward and crushed 
this corps before the remainder of Sheridan's troops arrived, and 
seciire<l a complete victory. In speaking of the time when the 
firing commenced, P:arly, who was with Gordon, says: " I imme- 
diately ordered all the troops that were at Stephenson's Depot to 
be in readiness to move, directions being given by Gordon, 
who had arrived from Runker Hill, to move at once, but by 
some mistake on the part of my stall' officer, the latter order 
was not delivered to either Generals Breckinridge or Gordon." 

Ramseur was compelled to bear the whole brunt of the attack 
of Sheridan's army initil we came to his support, about 10 a. m. 
While Rodes was moving in column up the Martinsburg road, 
near Winchester, we were unexpectedly called to attention, faced 



40 



to the left, and moved forward to engage the enemy, who had 
advanced to within one hundred yards of the road. Grimes' 
Brigade was on the right, mine in the centre, and Cook's on the 
left, for Battle's was still behind. After a brief and vigorous 
assault the Fedrals commenced falling back. 

Grimes drove him through the woods anil formed on the left 
of Ramseur, while I was driving the Federals before me in an 
open field, supported by Cook on my left. The latter brigade 
was brought to a temporary halt. Rodes was now in my rear, 
and dispatched his only remaining staff officer to push forward 
this brigade. At this moment Lieutenant J. S. Battle of m}^ 
staff came up, informed me that Colonel Bennett of the Four- 
teenth Regiment had just had his horse shot under him, and he 
had given him his. It was now that General Rodes was shot 
in the head by a ball, and caught by Jjieutenaut Battle as he fell 
from his horse. The fall of Rodes was not observed by the 
troops, who pushed on, and struck a weak line between the 
Sixth and Nineteenth Corps. At this point the Federals were 
severely punished, and fell back, leaving their killed and wounded. 
A large number of officers and men were secreted in a ditch, whom 
we captured. We pursued the enemy, with a hot fire, beyond the 
crest of the hill on which Grimes had established his line. Here 
Evans' Brigade, upon meeting a heavy fire, fell back, which 
exposed my brigade to a concentrated, direct and left oblique fire. 
Seeing that I could not maintain this advanced position, my Aide, 
Major Gales, was sent to General Early with a request to have 
a battery placed on a hill in my rear. This was promptly done, 
when my men fell back and were formed behind the battery, 
which opening with telling effect upon their heavy lines, they laid 
down, and the victory appeared to be ours. In this brief engage- 
ment Colonel Bannett had two horses shot from under him and 
was captured. Colonel Cobb of the Second lost a foot, and 
Colonel Thurston of the Third was severely wounded. While 
my loss in officers and men had been severe, my troops were in 
fine spirits. Here we lay until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when 
Major G. Peyton of the division staff" directed me to fall back, for 



41 

tlu' iiilhiitrv li:ul ntirctl I'idm my left, :ui<l Fitz Lee's eaviilry 
was luitlv eii^au'etl with that of the l'\<lei<iU. I i-e|ilie(l that 
there was no oeeasion for iiiy iallinj;- hack, as I eoiiKl re|iiilse 
anv assault the Federals ini}2;lit attempt; and upon their emleav- 
oriiii'- to advance, 1 opened fire \\\h>i\ tjiem an<l the\- lapidly 
sought shelter. Discovering (after Major' Peyton retired) that 
the Federals were in my rear, I lell hack in good order to the 
Martinsbiirg pike and formed on the left of oiu- trctops. Here 
we were exposed, withont any protection, to a heavy artillery fire, 
which was inflicting unnecessary punishment upon my men. I 
turned to General Brcckinri<lge, who was near, and pointed to a 
line of hills and suggested that that was the place to make our 
staud, to which he agree<l. Thereupon I faced my men about 
and comiueuced retiring deliberately to the hills, all the troops 
conforming to this movement. General Early, through a staff 
officer, directed me to return ; I thcreuiion faced my men aljont 
and move<i them to the Iront. Upon reaching the turnpike 
a second officer came from General F^arly and directed nie to fall 
back. Facing my men about, I again commenced slowly 
retiring. While thus marching and countermarching in a 
murderous fire, a cannon-ball struck in the color-guard, just iu 
the rear of my horse's tail, cut one man asunder, tore off the 
skidl of another, which was thrown iu front, and spattered blood 
and brains on all who wer(> near. My veterans, instead of 
being stampeded, only pressed a little more impulsively upon 
my horse's tail. 

War hath its horrors, which the selfishness and ambition of 
men bring upon them, and they must endure them ; but the suffer- 
ing and distress of females no true man can complacently witness. 
Such scenes of distress and heart-rending agony as were mani- 
fested by the true women of Winchester as their town was uncov- 
ered and they were thus ex|)osed to the foe, while they cannot 
be described, brought tears to the eyes of stoutest men. 

Our troops now retreated towards Fisher's Hill. My brigade 
secured the elevation which I had selected, and stood as a 
menace to pursuit until our army had measurably retinxl. Then 
6 



42 



proceeding to tlie turnpike, I was retreating in column, when Dr. 
Hunter McGuire, who was with Early, api)roached and said Gen- 
eral Early was feeling badly; that we had lost but one caisson, and 
he wished I would take ray trodps and protect from capture the 
artillery then passing. I informed him that I was so far from 
division headquarters.(for our army was not then in sight) that I 
did not desire to have my brigade exposed to capture unless he 
would bring me an order from General Early, who was then rid- 
inp- slowly along the pike. He returned to the General and came 
back and said the General said he wished I would do it. I then 
dispatched Assistant Adjutant General Gales to General Battle, 
who, after the fall of Rodes, was in command of the division, 
with information as to where I was and what I was doing. I 
then turned to my command, which had been joined by other 
troops who had lost their commands, and directed them to deploy 
and advance between the enemy's cavalry and our artillery, which 
was done with great spirit and promptness in the presence of the 
General, but without a word of indorsement from him. In 
this manner we moved on, protecting the artillery until near 
dusk, when we found Raraseur with his division thrown across 
the turnpike to prevent pursuit. About the time the artillery 
and my brigade crossed his line the enemy made a spirited 
charge to capture the guns. Ramseur's men rose and met it 
with a well-directed fire, which stopped further pursuit. I 
moved on and soon joined our troops. So that Ramseur, upon 
whom the enemy had opened their battle in the morning, gave 
them the last repulse at night. 

Of this battle. Early writing, says: "A skillful and energetic 
commander of the enemy's forces would have crushed Ramseur 
before any assistance could have reached him, and thus caused 
the destruction of my whole force; and later in the day, when 
the battle had turned against us, with the immense superiority 
of cavalry which Sheridan had and the advantage of the open 
country, would have destroyed my whole force and captured 
everything I had. * * * * * * J have thought, instead 
of being promoted, Sheridan ought to have been cashiered for 



43 



this i);it(l('." Ill Ills "Memoirs," (ji'untsays: "Sliciidim iiiovcil at 
the tiini' lixi'd iij)t)ii. lie mot Early at tho crossing oi'thc Opc- 
<liiaii Creek and won a most decisive victory — one whicli elec- 
trified the country, l^aily had invili'd tliis attack him>ell' liy 
his had ^eMeral>hi|), and made the vietory easy." Considering; 
the.grt'at disparity ot" nnmhcrs, this hattle of Winchester was, 
after all, no i^reat victory on the part ol" Sheridan, and (irant 
intimalts as mnch, i'or his troops out numhi red those of Early 
more than three to one. His cavalry was in line condition, while 
«.)nrs was worn down hy excessive duties and seant forage. It 
was won at a critical moment to the Federal government, and 
it l)ecame to its interest to inaguifN- it in every way j)ractical)le. 

After out defeat at Wiuehester we fell back and formed a line 
of battle behind Fisher's Hill. In our encounter with Sheri- 
dan's armv, notuitlistandin;^' our defeat, his loss had been severe 
ami his pursuit was languid. It was the *20th before he reached 
our frout, and several days were passed in maneuvering and 
skirmishing. Ramseur's Division occ-upied the left of our line 
of battle and the prolongation of our line was defended by cav- 
alry. On the 22d, Sheridan threw forward Crook's Corps, 
pushed back our cavalry anil took possession of our line. Ram- 
seur hearing the firing to his left, withdrew my brigade from the 
liue and ordered me to move in the direction of the fii'ing, for after 
the fall of Rodes, Ramseur, to our great gratification, was pUu'ed 
in charge of his division. On moving to the left I had a brisk 
skirmish with a part of Crook's men, but did uot encounter the 
main force. From the firing in the direction of our line it was 
soon apparent that our army was falling back. I now met Gen- 
eral L<»max with a part of his men, and he kindly conducted me 
by the nearest route to the turnpike over which we were 
retreating. 

It was fidl dusk when we ivached the road. Colonel Ren- 
dleton, an admirable oflicer and an accomplished gentleman- 
of the corps staff", met me and requested that my brigade be 
thrown across the road to cover the retreat. The brigade was 
promptly formed, advanced rapidly to a fence, where it met the 



44 



euemy in a haiid-to-hand eucounter, repulsed them and stopped 
the pursuit for the night. It was while near ine that Colonel 
Pendleton, whom I had intimately known when on Jackson's 
staif, fell mortally wounded. 

Napoleon said: "The moral force in war is worth twice its 
physical effect." Unfortunately, from this time on, that moral 
force which leads to success in battle was, in this army, under 
its present leadership, sadly lacking. 

A word now as to the 

PRIVATE SOLDIER 

of the Confederate army. The emergencies of the South called 
forth all of her sons to the front (''from the cradle to the grave," 
as Grant expressed it), and in its ranks might be found men of 
every position in society. From education, association and pursuits 
he was superior to the ordinary soldier. He fought not for pay, for 
glory or promotion, and received but little of either. He coveted 
danger, not from recklessness, but for the loved ones at home, 
whose approbation and safety were dearer to him than life itself. 
His honors and rewards were the approval of a good conscience. 
His humor was droll; his wit original ; his spirits unflagging; 
his shoeless feet, tattered clothes and "hard-tack" were oftener 
matters for jest than complaint. When his officer was consider- 
ate and capable he was his idol. He was intelligent, understood 
the issues at stake and discussed the merits and conduct of every 
battle. Whether on the picket line or the forefront of battle, 
behind every trusted musket there was a thinker, and there was 
an accommodation and comradeship between the mere hoy and 
the oldest veteran. It was such devotion and unsurpassed hero- 
ism as was displayed by the privates of each army, equally 
brave and of one nationality, that makes our country great and 
demonstrates to the world the excellence and superiority of the 
Anglo-Saxon race. 

"Can comrades cease to think of those wlio bore 
The brunt of conflict, inarching side by side — 
Forget how yonth forgot liis beardless face, 
Made beanteous bv his valorous arm?" 



45 



N«), lu'ver I while :i widdwcd Iii-art cciiscs to f'iir<;('t or a sister 
sli;ill eoltlly toiieh the brother's "honored blade." All honor 
then to the ni)l)le women who, in his old ago and povertv — that 
" iil-inatehod pair" — seek to ])rovide, if not a lionie, at least a 
shelter for him. May Heaven's choieest blessing rest upon theni 
and till who siiall aid them in their j>ious and pati'iotic woil<. 

To retnrn to niy narrative. After the affair of I'Msher's Hill 
we fell back to the lower passes of the Jiluo Rigdc, where Sheri- 
dan followeil us as liir as Staunton. Then, after destroying the 
Central Railroad, he retreated uj) the valley and took position 
behind his intrenehments at 

CEDAR CREEK. 

Early had now been re-inforced by the return of Kershaw's 
Divisiou, Cutshaw's battaliou of artillery and some cavalry, 
which about made up his losses at \\'inchester and Fisher's 
Hill. About the time Sheridan fell back it had been Early's 
purpose to attack him, which he (loid)tless anticij)ated, for he 
heard that Longstreet had joined Early, and it was their pur- 
pose to destroy him. Early pursued Sheridan beyond Middle- 
town, where he found him too strongly intrenched for a direct 
attack, and we were therefore formed behind our breastworks 
at Fisher's Hill. Froiu our signal station, which overlooked 
their camp, it was discovered that the Federal left flank was 
lightly picketed, and by a long detour and careful movement 
could be taken in reverse. A flanking movement was directed 
by Early and mainly intrusted to (Jordon, who, with Ram- 
seur'.s Division, commenced moving early after dark. The night 
was consumed in a fatiguing and exhausting march, which was 
conducted with the greatest secrecy. We reached the point at 
which we were to cross the creek and make the attack at earlv 
dawn. Here we were joined by Payne's cavalry, who at full 
speed dashed uj)on and c;i])tiired Sheridan's headquarters, and, 
but for his absence, would have captured him. \\'hile Crook's 
Corps was enjoying its undisturbed cpiiet, and })ossibly dream- 
ing of to-morrow, we descended like a wolf on the fold and 



46 



aroused them by "Rebel yells" and peals of musketry, aud they 
hastily fled in garments more suited to a camp than a ball-room. 
After our great reverses the sensation of pursuit was delight- 
ful. As Hamseur hurried from point to point to hasten forward 
his troops where resistance was offered his presence and manner 
was electrical. Notified of our attack by the firing, the Federals 
in other parts of the field formed and oiferedsome resistance, but 
they were so much demoralized that my little brigade drove back 
a division ten times its number after but slight resistance. By 
8 o'clock we had captured nearly all their artillery and from 
fifteen hundred to two thousand [)risoners, and the Federals were 
in retreat. Early in the meantime, with two divisions which 
had scarcely been engaged, came upon the field. Gordon informed 
me that he then advised him to seize all his wagon, artillery and 
ambulance horses — indeed, every one he could get — mount his 
men upon them, aud hotly pursue the Federals before they could 
recover from their panic. But we were very deliberate. While 
this was occurring Sheridan was at Winchester, on his return 
from Washington. He gives this graphic account of his meet- 
ing with his fleeing troops: "At Mill Creek my escort fell 
behind and we were going ahead at a regular pace when, just 
as we made the crest of the rise beyond the stream, there burst 
upon our view the appalling spectacle of a panic-stricken arniy — 
hundreds of slightly wounded men, thi'ongs of others unhurt, 
but utterly demoralized, and baggage wagons by the score, all 
pressing to the rear in hopeless confusion, telling only too plainly 
that a disaster had occurred at the front. On accosting some of 
the fugitives, they assured me that the army was broken up, in 
full retreat, and that all was lost; all this with a manner true 
to that peculiar indifference that takes possession of panic-stricken 
men." In the meantime General Wright, with one division and 
some cavalry, had the' only organized force in our presence. 
The return of Sheridan and the lack of a vigorous pursuit had 
the effect to allay the panic with which his army was seized 
early in the day. . Ascertaining from some prisoners that were 
captured that Lougstreet was not with Early, Sheridan reorgan- 



47 



i/.c'il Ills iiu'ii tlir West he could Miid tiinicil iipnii ih, I -IkhiM 
si\\' about .') o'clock in the afternoon. Ivum.seiir kept his men 
well ill hand, and iVoni behind rock walls successfully resisted 
the advance of tiie Federals. Near 4 o'clock Kershaw's Division 
nave way on inv left. I sent my head(|uarter courier, private 
Bei:;;;arlv, to report the fact to Cieneral Kamseur. \\'hile (loin<r 
so his horse was shot througii the ear and the horse upon which 
General Kamseur sat (for he refused to take shelter) was killed. 
At the request of General Ramseur, private Begt;arly let the 
General have his horse. So careful was Kamseur of the rights of 
others, even in the midst of a severe engagement, this horse was 
not taken before getting my consent. 

Dui-ing this whole encounter no man could have behaved 
more magnificently and heroic.ly than Kamseur did in his efforts 
to resist the overwhelming tide which was now setting in upon 
us. From the position which he occupied the retreat of Ker- 
shaw's Division and the overlapping flanking column of the 
Federals could be seen. His troops became alarmed and could 
not be held in position, and in a vain effort to hold them lhi~ 
brave and accomplished young officer fell 

MORTALLY WOUNDED 

and was captured. In speaking of his conduct upon this 
occasion, General Early says: "Major General Ramseur has 
often proved his courage and his capacity to command, but 
never did these qualities siiine more conspicuous than on 
the afternoon of the 19th of this month, when, after two 
divisions on his left had given way and iiis own was doing 
the same thing, he rallied a small band and for one hour 
and a quarter held in check the enemy, until he was .shot 
down himself. In endeavoring to stop those who were retiring 
from the field I had occasion to point them to the gallant stand 
made by Ramseur with his small party, and if his spirit could 
have animated those who left him thus battling the l*Jth of 
October would have had a far difl'erent history. He met the 
death of a hero, and with his fall the last hope of saviiuj the day 



48 



was lost! General Ramseur was a soldier of whom his State 
has reason to be proud — he was brave, chivalrous and capable." 
General Grimes says, in his report of this battle: "Up to the 
hour of 4 p. M. the troops of this division, both officers and 
men, with a few exceptions, behaved most admirably, and were 
kept well in hand. But little plundering and only a few shirk- 
ing their duty. After that hour all was confusion and tlisorder. 
The brigade commanders conducted themselves, each and all, with 
great coolness and judgment, and are deserving of especial men- 
tion for using all possible eiforts to check their troops, but with- 
out success. The death of the brave and heroic soldier, General 
Ramseur, is not only a loss to this division but to his State and 
country at large. No truer and nobler spirit has been sacrificed 
in this unjust and unholy war." Colonel Winston, commanding 
the Forty-third and Forty-fifth North Carolina Regiments, says 
that "only one man of those regiments in passing through the 
rich spoils of the enemy's camp fell out of ranks, and he did it 
to get a hat, and was court-martialed." And so far as I observed, 
the charge of General Early, that the loss of the fruits of our 
victory in the morning was ascribable to the plundering of the 
soldiers, is a great injustice. Certainly it is so as applicable to 
that large body of North Carolinians who were then in his corps, 
and who upon this, as upon prior and subsequent occasions, 
proved themselvt-s to be among the best soldiers in the Army of 
Northern Virginia. 

What General Lee said in his letter to General Early, dated 
September 22d, 1864, in regard to his strategy as a separate 
commander, was clear to all, and in the main led to his want of 
success. Lee said : * * "As fai- as lean judge fnnu this dis- 
tance, you have operated more with your divisions than with 
your constituted strength. Circumstances may have rendered 
it necessary, but such a course is to be avoided if possible." 
When General Forrest was asked the cause of his uniibrm suc- 
cess he replied: " I get there first with the most men." If not 
classic, this is at least epigrammatic. 

We cheerfully accept the well merited tribute General Early 
pays the chivalrous and knightly Ramseur, but it is insisted he 



49 



is ontitK'd to one >till lii<:;li(r. Instead of" fighting with a few 
hniidioil inoi), as Kaily elsewhere says, we see him, in the lan- 
guage of General (iriinos, "holding his division well in hand," 
officers and men doing their duty hdthCnliy, while the disurder 
and cont'nsion in other j)arts of (he field hastens the disaster 
wliich with tn>oj>s skillfnlly handled shonld not have oecnrrcd. 

It will lie asked if the eritieisms of Early's valley (•am|)aign 
are just, why did not General Lee remove him? There an; 
several good reasons why General Lee should have heen slow to 
pursue sueh a eourse. Karly was a man of supeiior intelligence, 
he was earni'st in the cause, and as a hrigadier and division com- 
mander a hanl lighter and successfid officer. There is, however, 
a marked ditfcrcnce between a chief and subordinate commander, 
and Lee had never known him otherwise than as a subordinate. 
It is true that Lee was finally compelled to remove him. and we 
may |)resume it was his reluctance to wound that caused him to 
unwillingly take the step which soon became necessary. This 
forbearance was in keeping with Lee's general character, as known 
to those who served under him. It is so well expressed by Col- 
onel W. H. Taylor of his staff, in his book entitled "Four 
Years with General Lee," we can but quote from him. He says: 

"If it shall be the verdict of posterity that General Lee in 
any respect fell short of perfection as a military leader it may 
perhaps be claimed : First, that he was too careful of the per- 
sonal feelings of bis subordinate commanders, too fearful of 
wounding their pride, and too solicitous of their reputation. 
Probably it was this that caused him sometimes to continue in 
command those of whose personal fitness for their position he 
was not convinced, and often avowedly or tacitly assumed respon- 
sibility for mishaj>s clearly attributable to the inefficiency, neglect 
or carelessness of others." 

Through the courtesy of the family of (Jcneral Ramseur, I 
am placed in the possession of a personal letter from K. R. Hutch- 
inson, of Virgini;i, an able and accomplished officer, who before 
the battle of Cedar Creek had long served as Major and Acting 
Adjutant General to the division. Major Hutchinson was with 
7 



50 



General Ramseur when he received his fatal wound, was cap- 
tured while endeavoring to remove hira from the field, and by 
his bedside during his last moments. 

His account of the sad occurrence on that occasion is so vivid 
and touching no apology is deemed due for introducing his let- 
ter, with a single omission, in this monograph : 

"Near Strasburg, Va., October 20, 1864. 
"Mrs. S. D. Ramseur llilton, N. C: 

"Dear Madam: — I do not know how to write to you; how 
to express my deep sympathy in your grievous affliction; but 
the Christian soldier who has gone before us to that other world 
has asked me to do it, and I must not shrink from the performance 
of this duty, however painful. I am writing by the side of him 
whose last thought was of you and his God, his country and his 
duty. He died this day at twenty-seven minutes past 10 o'clock 
A. M., and had at least the consolation of having by his side 
some who wore the same uniform and served in the same holy 
cause as himself. His last moments were peaceful, his wounds 
were painful, but his hope in Christ led him to endure all 
patiently. He received his mortal wound yesterday afternoon 
(October 19th) between the hours of 5 and 6 P. M. at the 
post of honor and of danger, where he always was. Our 
troops had fallen back a short distance hut iiad reformed, 
and were stubbornly contesting a position oil a hill which the 
enemy attacked from three sides. He exposed himself to every 
shot, cheering and encouraging all. I was not far from him 
when I saw his horse shot; he procured another, which was 
shot also, and immediately after he received his fatal wound (the 
second), all in the space of a very few minutes. I ran over to 
him, got some men. and bore him to the rear, your brother join- 
ing us on the way. I then went off after an ambulance, found 
it, but saw on returning with it that he had been left, as I 
thought, in the enemy's lines. This fear was soon after dissi- 
pated, however, by seeing him on Captain Randolpii's hoi-se, the 
Captain running along side and supporting him. We got him 



51 



tlun t(» tlu' aiiil)iil:inrc I IkkI l)r(>ti;;lit up. I tlinii;^lit lii' was 
sate tlu'ii, iKtt Uiiuwiiii:; how (laiiiicniiis was his wound, and 
roniainod with the rear i^uard. When I was suh.sef|UC'ntly cap- 
tured hy the enemy's cavahy, I was eaiTJed to General Sheri- 
dan's headquarters, and learning that General Raniseur had been 
caj)turcHl, asked and obtained permission to remain with him. 
The road had been blocked up by wai^ons, causing a delay, that 
gave the enemy time to get up and take him j)iisoner, just south 
of Sti-asburg. Many of his former friends (West Pointers) 
called to see him yesterday and to-day, and offered every assist- 
ance in their power, (ieneral Sheridan among the mimlxr. He 
was taken to General Sheridan's headquarters and njade as com- 
fortable as circumstances would permit. Dr. James Gillespie 
(Cutshaw's Battalion of Artillery), a Confederate surgeon, assisted 
l)y the enemy's surgeons, attended to him and did all that could 
be done under the circumstances. He sutlered a good deal from 
his wound, the ball having entered his right side, j)enetrating the 
right and left Iinig, and lodging near the left side. But the eud 
w'as peacefid and quiet. He spoke continually of you, and sent 
very many messages to his family, but above all, to his wife. He 
told the ambulance driver to tell General Hoke that he "died a 
Christian and had done his duty." He told me to "give his 
love and send some of his hair to his darling wife"; and often 
wished he could "see his wife and little child before he died." 
He told me to tell you he had a "firm hope in Christ, and hoped 
to meet you hereafter." He died as became a Confederate soldier 
and a firm believer. 

"I inclose the lock of hair he desired sent you. 

"Respectfully, R. R.Hutchinson, 

''Major and A. A. (i. P. A. C. S." 

IN a^NCLUSION. 

Ramsenr in personal appearance was slight, erect, alert, earnest 
in speech, with dark prominent eyes and well developed fore- 
head. He was an ideal soldier. 

General Robert Ransom, in writing of his bearing in action, 
while they were together in the valley, says: " Ramsenr com- 



52 



mauded iufantry aud I the whole of Early's cavalry dur- 
ing the time I was with Early. Whenever I had opportu- 
nity to see Raniseur his conduct was marked by great energy, 
brilliant dash (often amounting to impetuosity) and an enthu- 
siasm which inspired those he led." 

Among the soldiers of Napoleon, Marshal Ney was known as 
"the bravest of the brave." When asked whether he ever felt 
fear in battle, he replied that he never had time. His reply 
might aptly be that of Ramseur. When in acticju his enthusi- 
asm arose with the magnitude of the dangers that environed 
him. But this enthusiasm was controlled by a well-directed 
judgment as to the best disposition to make of his troops, and as 
to the weak points of his adversary. He fully realized that war 
meant danger, even death ; that the eyes of his troops were upon 
him, and their greatest safety lay in marching fearlessly and 
promptly to the front of danger, and he never hesitated to lead 
them. 

On the day preceding the battle of Cedar Creek, General Ram- 
seur received intelligence of the birth of the little child men- 
tioned in the letter of Major Hutchinson. The birth of one's 
first born arouses a thousand thrilling emotions in the heart of 
every manly bosom which can be felt but not described. 

General Ramseur was a superb horseman, and on the day of the 
battle he appeared upon the field well mounted and dressed with 
an unusual care in his. handsome General's uniform. He wore 
upon the lapel of his coat a bouionniere, the gift doubtless of 
some fair and patriotic woman in that section, bestowed in recog- 
nition of the joyous event which he had made known to her. 
I have already described the enthusiasm with which his presence 
on this occasion inspired, as he hastened from one part of the 
battle field to another, and an electric glow even thrilled through 
my impassive breast as we drove our gallant adversaries before 
us, they making just enough resistance to heighten the effect 
danger inspires. How different is the situation of man and 
woman under such circumstances. To man the presence of dan- 
ger is all-absorbing. Woman, on the approach of an impending 



53 

l):»ltlr is lillctl with the most niixiuiis toR-hodiiiu^ of diiii^cr, wliidi 
air to Ik- tollo\Vf«l after the Uattli" lias lurii foii^rht witli still 
nioro wearying; and anxious thoughts and slcfphss niirhls — 
for her there is no rest until the list of killed ami wain. led is 
iveeived and donltt is resolved into eertainty. 

No doubt amitlst that day's vieissitudes Raniseur's mind wan 
continuallv d\vellin;j; upon his wife and eliild, and jdeasant 
thoughts of an early meeting and of additional honors that mi-ht 
be his, for in the course of this address it may have been observed 
he scarcely ever participated in an important battle that he did 
not win a promotion. It is wisely provided that no man can see 
what a (lav niav bring forth, or certify how long he has to live. 
In Ivamsenr's case it is pleasant to feel that as a hero and a 
Christian he was prepared to meet his last enemy when he came. 
AVhen being borne from the field his memory revisits the old 
homestead, and he thinks of one between whom and himself the 
warmest ties had always existed. There was but a month's 
difference in their ages. "Tell General Hoke," he says, " 1 did 
niv duty and died a Christian." 

"He died, but his end was fittin<?, 
Foremost in tiie ranks lie led, 
And he marked the heights of his nation's gain. 
As he lay in the harness — dead." 

The Rev. E. Harding, his connexion and chaplain, in his 
sketch of General Ram.seur, to which I am indebted in prepar- 
ing this memoir, in writing of his Christian character, .says: 
"Ramseur rea<l his r,ible a great deal, and when opjmrtunity 
offered held lamily prayers; that he was "fond of conversing 
on religious subjects, and i)unctual in attending divine service"; 
that he "was a high-toned and chivalrous gentleman, a gallant 
sohlier, an humble Christian." 

His last thoughts on earth were of home and Heaven, the 
sweetest word-^ in any language. He said, bear this message to 
my precious wife: "I die a Chri.stiau and hope to meet her in 
Heaven." No balm to the bruised heart could be more precious, 
no assurance more gratifying. 



54 



Irrespective of section, irrespective of servicf, the blue and 
the gra}' — Sheridan, Custer, Federal and Confederate sur- 
geons — gather around his couch to minister to his wants and 
smooth his dying pillow. His soul takes its flight, and the day 
men called his last was his first in tlie Paradise of God. His body 
was carefully embalmed by the Federals, borne through their 
lines and delivered to his early and cherished friend. General 
Hoke. And thus was illustrated the saying that (he world 
would remain at peace if those who made the quarrels were 
the only men that fought, for between the soldiers of the 
two armies there was no personal animosity — of one race, of 
one nationality, equally brave and equally sincere, they did not 
bring on the war, and not with their consent has its animosities 
been continued. Ramseur's remains were carried to his native 
village, and there a large concourse of his neighbors and friends 
assembled to express their sorrow and do honor to his memory. 
They accomftanied his remains to their last resting-place, which 
is in the Episcopal church-yard, and deposited them beside 
those of his father and motlier. Over them a loving and 
devoted kinsman has had erected a handsome monument, on one 
side of which is engraved the Confederate flag and the principal 
battles in which he fought, and on the other the date of his birth 
and of his death, with this appropriate inscription : "A Christian 
Soldier." 



MAJ.-GEN. STEPHEN 1). RAMSEUR. 



[From the CaroliiKi Tinirs, Charlotli', N. ('.'] 

Tlu' remains of Gen. Raniseur, who fell in the recent hattles 
in the Valley, reached here on Saturday evening, (Nov. 5th, 
1804) by the Northern train. The Naval (Juard, under the 
coniniand of Major Ramsey, together with a considerable con- 
course of citizens, met the remains at the depot, and escorted 
them to the residence of Col. L. S. Williams. On Sunday 
morning the same escort followed the remains of the honored 
dead to the depot, whence they were conveyed to Lincolnton, 
the place of his residence, for interment. 

The hearse was decorated with the Confederate battle-flag, 
and drawn by a span of black horses. 

GE.N. RAMSEUR. 

On Sunday morning the body of Gen. Ramseur was escorted 
from the residence of Colonel L. S. Williams, (where it had 
been taken on its arrival from Richmond,) to the depot of the 
Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford Railroad, by the Naval 
Guard battalion. Major Ramsay commanding, and a number 
of the citizens of Charlotte. The following named officers act- 
ed as pall-bearers: Col. Wm. J. Hoke, Col. Edwin Osborne, Lt. 
Col. John A. Young, Lt. Col. T. H. Brem, Major R. J. Echols, 
Dr. J. W. Ash by, Capt. E. Stitt, and Capt. D. DeWolf. At 
the depot a special train was in waiting, and, as soon as the 
body and the escort were on board started for Lincolnton, 
where they arrived at 11 o'clock. There the body was escort- 
ed from the depot and deposited in the court house, to lay in 
state until Monday, that the citizens of Lincoln county be en- 
abled to attend the funeral. 

The citizens of Lincolnton, having had no notice of the 
coming of the train on Sunday, very few of them were present 



at the depot when it arrived. As soon as the ceremonies were 
over they came forward, and, with their usual hospitality, 
took charge of the Naval Guard battalion and those of our 
citizens who accompanied them, and entertained all with such 
a profusion of good edibles as is rarely seen inthese war times. 
At 3 o'clock the train left for Charlotte with the military on 
board, where in due time they arrived safely, all well pleased 
with their visit — the first, with many of them — to the good 
people of Lincolnton. — Carolina Times. 



[From The Carolina T/mes'.] 

Lincolnton, Nov. 8th, 1864. 

Mr. Editor: On Sunday morning last, the 6th of Novem- 
ber, the roll of the muffled drum announced to our people 
that the mortal remains of Major General Ramseur had 
been Inought to this his home for interment. They, though 
unexpected, were met at the depot by a large concourse of 
citizens who, together, with the Naval Battalion, command- 
ed by Lieut. Ramsey, from your town, formed a proces- 
sion in the following order: first, the naval battalion with 
arms reversed, then the hearse containing the body covered 
with the Confederate flag and wreaths of flowers; on each 
side of the hearse walked the following gentlemen as pall- 
bearers : Col. John A. Young, Col. W. J. Hoke, Col. Edwin 
Osborne, Lieut. Col. Thos. H. Brem, Maj. Echols, Maj. Ashby, 
Capt. W. E. Stitt, and Capt. De Wolf; after the hearse came 
the citizens. 

The procession moved from the depot to the court house 
where the body was deposited. It remained there for a short 
time when it was conveyed to the Presbyterian church, where 
the coffin was opened and the body viewed by the citizens 
until half past two o'clock, p. m. on Monday, when the funeral 
services were performed by Rev. Robt. N. Davis, of the Presby- 
terian church, in the presence of a large and grief-stricken 
audience. The body was then conveyed to the cemetery and 
deposited in a vault there peacefully to rest until it shall be 
awakened from its slumbers, at the last day, by the trump of 



3 

God, summoning both patriot and vandal to render an account 
of the deeds done in the body. The writer of this had not 
tlie j)h'asure of the jiersonal ae(iuaintanee of the deceased, but 
has. with pride, watched his short but brilliant career, from 
the memorable 20th of May, 1SC)1, when the thunder of his 
artillery, at Ralei<j;h, announced to the people of the State that 
the hated tie, that bountl us so lonj; to Northern ojjpression 
hatl been broken, to the day when in the Valley he so glori- 
ously made a winding sheet of his martial cloak. He fell a 
christian hero, clad both in the hvery of his country and in 
the armor of his iJod. While we mourn our los?, let us enml- 
ate his patriotism and christian virtues. 

Alkx. II. Justice. 



LiNCOLNTON, Nov. 12, 1864. 

Eds. Confederate, Raleigh, N. C: The remains of Maj. Gen. 
Ramseur reached here last Sunday at 12 o'clock, by special 
train from Charlotte, escorted by the Naval Battalion of that 
city. They were taken to the court house and thence to the 
Presbyterian church, followed by a long procession of the 
citizens. On Monday afternoon, after a very impressive and 
appropriate discourse by the Rev. Robert N. Davis, his body 
was temporarily deposited in the vault of the Hoke family, 
near the village burying ground. 

The features of the distinguished dead were perfectly natur- 
al, except a marble paleness, and were seen by all, both vil- 
lagers and strangers, who can)e to the church to take the last 
look on his noble face. 

The body had been embalmed by the enemy. He received 
his mortal wound between 5 and 6 o'clock in the evening, (on 
19th of Oct.,) after two horses had been shot under him, and 
while cheering on his men, surrounded on three sides by the 
enemy. His A. A. G., Maj. Hutchinson, aided by others, bore 
him to the rear, then went for an ambulance, and on return- 
ing found him on Capt. Randolph's horse, the Captain running 
along by his side and supporting him ; and thus got him to 
the ambulance. 



The ambulance was impeded by wagons and taken by the 
enemy, and also Maj. Hutchinson. Being taken to Gen. 
Sheridan's headquarters, Maj. H. obtained permission to re- 
turn there with Gen. Ramseur. 

The General's last words were — " Tell my darling wife, I die 
with a firm faith in Christ, and trust to meet her hereafter." 
His last words to the ambulance driver who took him from 
the field were: "Tell Gen. Hoke I die a christian and have 
done my duty." 

On the 3d. inst., as Gen. Hoke was riding out to examine 
some work that was going on, a staff officer of Gen. Colquitt 
came to him to say, there was a flag of truce in front, with 
the body of Gen. Ramseur. It seemed hke akind Providence 
had guided the body of the christian soldier into the hands of 
his fellow-officer, the friend to whom his lips had breathed 
almost their last words. 

Gens. Hoke and Colquitt and staff accompanied the body 
to Richmond and placed it in the Capitol. The next day the 
Governor of Virginia ordered a military escort to attend the 
body to the depot, from which Major Adams, of Gen. Hoke's 
staff, and a friend of the family, returned his honored remains 
to the village of his birth and the care of his desolate family. 
Thus another hero has passed away. 

H. H. Smith. 



TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF MAJOR-GENERALS RODES AND 

RAMSEUR. 

At a meeting of the officers of Rodes' Division, A. N. V., 
held at the camp near New Market, Va., on the 29th inst., 
Brig.-General Phil. Cook was called to the Chair, and Major 
G. Peyton appointed Secretary. 

The following preamble and resolutions were reported by a 
Committee consisting of Brig. General W. R. Cox, Colonel D. 
G. Cowan, 32d N. C. Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel J. W. 
Beck, 44th Ga. Regiment, Captain Watkins Phelan, 3d Ala. 
Regiment, and Captain T. C, Belcher, 5th Ala. Regiment, and 
were unanimously adopted : 



" Wht'n tlu' ^ood and j,'ifte(l are takoii from aniniif,' us l»y theundia- 
tinguisliint; liaiul of death, it is meet tliat we should cherish their 
memories and protit by their examples ; therefore he it 

AV-xo/o (/ /.s<. That in" the death of our loved and respteeted leaders, 
Major (ieneral Rodes and Major ( Jeiieral Kamseur, who fell u|)on the 
battle tield while L'allaiitly discharirin^' their duties, our cause has lost 
two hrilhant otlicers: this Hivisiou two able and experienced leaders ; 
and we personallv two cultivate<l comrades and courteous and urbane 
instructoi-s. Their deeds and their chivalrousdarin^ need no eulo^dum 
at our hands, they constitute a part of the history of this war, and are 
the richest heirlooms of their families. 

Rtsoltrd Jnii. That they fell where the true patriot deli^dits to fall ; 
upon the tield of honor, and in thedischar<;e of one of the most sacred 
obliirations known to man, and that our cause has been rendered more 
dear to our lu'arts, if possible, by the sai'rilices they have made, in de- 
fending our homes and firesides from the desecration of ruthless in- 
vaders. 

Resoh'tuLlrd. That, as a mark of our high aitprcciation of their worth, 
all militarv duties not indispensable be suspended on Tuesday next, 
that the ('haplains of the different brigades be re(iuested to hold 
divineservice, and that the drums be uiufHed, and after these proceed- 
ings are read at Dress I'arade, the troops "red on arms" while a dirge 
shall be played bv the bands. 

Resolred itli, Tliat their disconsolate and afllicted families have our 
•warmest sympathies in this, their sad bereavement, and we trust that 
He, "who doeth all things well," will soon enable tlem to see the 
"silver lintng to the cloud " even amid the shadow of death. 

Ee.iolird 5th, That copies of these proceedings be furnished to the 
family of each of the deceased, and that the North Carolina and 
Alabama papers be requested to copy them ; also, that a copy be spread 
upon the order books of the Division and Brigades. 

Phil. Cook, Chairman. 

G. Pey'TON, Secretary. 



Headquarters, Rooes' Division, 
Oct. 80th, 1864. 
Captain Samud J. C. Moon, A. A. G.: 

Captain : At a meeting of the officers of this Division, held on yes- 
terday, to express their sense of the great loss sustained by this com- 
mand, and the service, in the deaths of Major General Rodes and 
Major General Ramseur, it was resolved that all military duties not 
indispensable to the safety of the army, be suspended in this Division 
on Tuesday next. I have the honor to request permission from the 
Lieutenant General commanding to carry out this resolution. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Bryan Gri.mes, 
Brigadier General Cotnmanding. 



Headquarters, Valley District, 
October 31st, 1864. 
General: Your request for the suspension for to-morrow in your 
Division of all military duties which are not indispensable, in order to 
carry out the purposes of the resolutions of the officers of theDi vision in 



6 

honor of Major General R. E. Rodes and Major General S. D. Ramseur 
is granted. I take occasion to express to the Division, so lately com- 
manded in succession by these lamented officers, my high apprecia- 
tion of their merits, and my profound sorrow at their deaths. 

While serving with General Rodes, when we were both Division 
Commanders, I had formed a very high estimate of his qualities as a 
man and an officer. That estimate has been greatly enhanced during 
the recent campaign. I have been struck with admiration of his con- 
stant and vigilant devotion to duty, his careful attention to the discip- 
line and welfare of his men, and his great coolness, skill and gallantry 
in action. He fell on the 19th of September, at the head of his Divis- 
ion, making one of the most gallant charges that has been made dur- 
ing this war. I parted with hmi as he was going into the charge, and 
witnessed the vigor with which he hurled his Division aga nst the 
columns of the enemy, driving them back in confusion. He met his 
death just at the moment when the enemy was flying before h im, and 
there never fell a truer gentleman nor braver soldier. In his death 
his country sustained a severe loss which cannot be easily re paired, 
but he fell nobly, gallantly, heroically doing his duty. 

Major General Ramseur has often proved his courage and his capaci- 
ty to command ; but never did these qualities shine more conspicuously 
than on the afternoon of the 19th of this month, when, after two divis- 
ions on his left had given away and his own was doing the same 
thing, he rallied a small band and for one hour and a quarter held in 
check the enemy, until he was shot down himself. In endeavoring to 
stop those who were retiring from the tield, I had occasion to point 
them to the gallant stand made by Ramseur with his small party, and 
if his spirit could have animated those who left him thus battling, 
the 19th of October would have had a far different history. He met 
the death of a hero, and with his fall the last hope of saving the day 
was lost. General Ramseur was a soldier of whom his State has 
reason to be proud — he was brave, chivalrous and capable. 

Your Division has thus been called on to mourn the loss, within one 
month's time, of the two commanders who have fallen at their posts. 
It is a sad loss to the Division, the army and the country. I feel it 
most sensibly. In them I have lost not only valued friends, but most 
able and efficient assistants, and I join with the Division so well com- 
manded by them, in honoring their memory. Let the Division be in- 
spired by the example of these noble heroes, while lamenting their 
loss. Respectfully, 

J. A. Early, Lieut. General. 

Brig. General Bryan Grimes, commanding Division. 

The city papers are requested to copy. 



MAJ. GEN. S. D. RAMSEUR. 

A large meeting of the citizens of Lincoln county assembled 
at the court house on Monday, the 31st of October, 1864, for 
the purpose of considering the death of Major General Stephen 
Dodson Ramseur, a citizen of that county ; when Col. W. P. 
Bynum, formerly of the 2d N. C. T. arose and said: 



"A recent reverse to our arms in the Valley of Viri^inia, causes us 
to (leplor* a loss, irreater than thai of a lialtle, the loss of a nohle, 
brave and aceoinplished olllcer, Major (Jeneral RanistMir. Tiiis large 
and spontaneous meetint; evinces the deep liold which lie had on the 
public contidence as a military chieftain ; and the profound sorrow 
which pervadws the country on iiis sudden but heroic; deatii. Assign- 
ed to the command in whicii I served, I knew him well. He succeeded 
the lamented (Jeneral Anderson, an ollicer of great Hl)ilities, and well 
skilled in the art of war, commandiii;^ the love and contidence of his 
men. His was a place not easily tilletl. 

(Jen. Uamseur came to the brigade, a stranger, from another depart- 
ment of the service ; but he at once disarmed criticism by his high 
professional attainment anil great amiability of character, inspiring 
his men, by his own enthusiastic nature, with those lofty martial 
qualities wiiich distinguish the true Southern soldier. 

The loss of such a man is a national calamity, and calls on us to 
commemorate his great virtues and to mingle our sorrow with the 
general grief " 

In concluding, Col. Hyiunn moved that his Honor Judge 
James E. Oshorne be called to the chair, and that Ambrose 
Costner and V. 4. McBee, Es(irs., act as secretaries, and the 
meeting was so organized. 

The Hon. Win. Ijander arose and offered the following re- 
solutions, as expressing the sentiments and feelings of the 
meeting: 

Whereas, We have heard with deep regret of the untimely death of 
the brave and chivalrlc Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur, who 
fell mortally wounded while nobly leading his division, with great 
gallantry, at Cedar Creek in the Valley of Virginia, on the 19th Octo- 
ber, 18«J4, 

We, the citizens of this his native county, feeling a profound inter- 
est in his memory, and an e.xalted pride in his numerous heroic and 
brilliant achievements in arms, from thevery beginning of our stru"'- 
gle for right and independence, deem it a sad privilege as well as a 
sacred duty, to unite with our fellow citizens of this State and of the 
Confederate States, in deploring the irreparable loss of him, than 
whom no sister State has lost a purer, nobler, braver son. Therefore 
be it 

Resolri'd. That while we bow with humble submission to the inscru- 
table will of God in this afflictive dispensation, we are forced to feel 
the pall of gloom which has been thrown over our whole Confederacy 
by the sudden fall of so valuable an officer in the midst of his brilliant 
career. 

Resolved, That we tender to his afflicted wife and his fond father 
and numerous relatives, our most sincere condolence in this their sore 
bereavement. 

Rtxolredy That a copy of these proceedings be sent to his wife and 
his father, and be transmitted for publication to the papers of this 
State. 

Mr. Lander remarked that he did not arise to pronounce a 



euology on his deceased friend, whom he knew from child- 
hood to his death, but to make some brief statements of his 
history In May, 1837, in the town of Lincolnton, in three 
days of each other, were born two children, who were one day 
to shed lustre on their country's history, and to win ior them- 
selves an immortal fame. In boyhood they were warm and 
devoted friends, and were noted for their sacred obedience to 
their parents and their pure moral character. They came to 
manhood, the one a member of the Episcopal, and the other 
of the Presbyterian church. For awhile they were separated, 
until the mighty struggle for our indepedence came, when 
again they w^ere found side by side for three years of bloody 
strife in the defence of our rights and liberty — now we alas! 
must sever their history — General Ramseur now lies in his 
grave, a noble sacrifice to the glorious cause which General 
Robert F. Hoke still lives to defend. 

General Ramseur entered West Point in 1855 and graduated 
in 1860, when he was assigned to duty in the artillery of the 
United States army. When Lincoln issued his Proclamation 
he resigned his commission and was appointed a Lieutenant 
in artillery ; but while at Montgomery he received the com- 
mission of the Ellis Artillery at Raleigh, and chose to resign 
his commission in the regular army and aid in organizing our 
State forces, which were then being called to the field. He 
was present with his battery and fired the salute in Capitol 
square which announced that we had seceded from the Union. 
He was soon promoted to a Major, and ordered to Smithfield, 
on the James, where he remained until the Peninsula cam- 
paign. He was then assigned to the command of the artillery 
in General McLaw's division. While so acting he was elected 
Colonel of the 49th North Carolina Troops, and hastened to 
organize them at Raleigh. He was assigned to General Rob- 
ert Ransom's brigade, and soon was called to the defence of 
Richmond. He participated in the attacks on McClellan ; and 
at Malvern Hill while acting with conspicuous gallantry was 
severely wounded in his right arm, and was disabled for duty. 
While at home he received from President Davis the commis- 
sion as Brigadier General and was assigned to the command 
of the lamented Anderson. At Chancellorsville he was under 



Jackson in his celebrated flank movement, and won for him- 
self iinperishal)le >?lory in one of the most brilliant charfjcs of 
the war, which at once marked him as one of the best Gener 
als of the army. At Gettysburu, by a most skillful movement 
on the battle field he re-captun-d many of oiir prisoners, 
and was first to enter the town, he again added greatly 
to his reputation. At the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, he 
participated largely, and for his heroic conduct at the bloody 
salient where General Edward Johnston was captured, he was 
promoted and assigned to the command of Early's division, 
which was soon ordered to the Valley. While there, he, for 
a moment, suffered from the false and licentious charges made 
upon his conduct at Winciioster, where his division suffered 
a rout, notwithstanding his fearless and dangerous exposure 
of himself in attem|)ting to rally his troops; but this was 
soon dissipated by the stern voice of truth, which ex<merated 
him and placed blame where it belonged. On the death of 
the lamented Rodes, he succeeded to his position in the 
division, to which he liad formerly belonged, and wliiie lead- 
ing his division victoriously against the enemy, he fell 
mortally wounded by a shot through the right lung. Mr. 
Chairman, this is his history — the history of one of the most 
amiable men and brilliant soldiers that has yet offered himself 
on his country's altar. He was my friend, intimately so, and 
I weep for him. He was our country's friend, and we should 
all st)rrow for him. 

Maj. Allen B. Magruder then paid a mo.st beautiful tribute 
to the memory of Gen. Ramseur, sketching his social char- 
acter, as follows: 

Mr. Ch.mrman — I cannot permit the present occasion to pass by 
without uniting my voice in sympathy witli that deep current of feel- 
ing which the untimely death of one so loved and honored as Gen. 
Ramseur, has so naturally called for in this community. I feel, too, 
that I may, without intrusion, claim the indulgence ofthis meeting; 
for, although comi)aratively a stranger here, 1 enjoyed the advantage 
of an intimate acquaintance with tlie lamented dead before 1 knew 
his home and kindred in this, his native State. It was my good for- 
tune to know him in the morning freshness of his bright career. He 
had just graduated at the military academy at West Point, and enter- 
ed upon the profession of arms — that stern vocation which he illus- 
trated by heroic deeds, and has now ennobled by his devotion even 
unto death. It was amid the festive scenes of the national metropolis 
that I first knew him. He was stationed, for a time, in Washington 



10 

city, and was attached to a battery of light artillery — my relations to 
the commander of which brought me into intimate daily intercourse 
with him. He was sometimes my guest, and I mingled freely with 
him in those social scenes in which he showed to such advantage. I 
had thus the opportunity of knowing his merit and appreciating those 
high qualities which adorned his character. Possessed of great per- 
sonal gifts and attractions — of a noble aspect and graceful form — of 
fascinating manners, ever kind and gentle in his intercourse with 
others, intelligent and cultivated in intellect, he presented to us an 
embodiment of all those qualities and accomplishments in person, 
mind and manners, which we most admire in man. 

About this time the storm of war- -then no bigger than a man's 
hand which the prophet saw in the distance — swept across our horizon 
and suddenly burst in fury on our beloved country. In its lowering 
darkness I lost sight of him for a time. I afterwards learned that with 
characteristic devotion and fidelity, he had repaired to his native 
State, and offered his sword in defence of her rights. Subsequently 
we met again. I well remember the occasion. It was while he was 
on the march to the Virginia Peninsula, in command of the battery 
of artillery which was afterwards so honorably associated with his 
name. He had landed at King's Hill wharf, on James river, and was 
proceeding to report for duty at headquarters of the army of the Pe- 
ninsula, of which I was at the time a staff officer. On the summit of 
one of those noble hills, which overlook the broad waters of the 
James, I met the battery— not the battery I had known him with in 
Washington — but another, as complete and efficient in equipment, 
and more excellent in that it was dedicated to the cause of freedom. 
I see a gentleman — now in my eye— himself a brave and gallant sol- 
dier, who bears in his person the marks of his devotion to duty in the 
hour of peril, who will no doubt remember our meeting. I allude to 
Capt. George Phifer, at that time on the staff of his gallant kinsman's 
(Ramseur's) battery, which won the praise of all who witnessed its 
discipline and drill. In all the elements of complete organization and 
equipment— in its splendid appointments and its skilled evolutions, 
it was a model. This was due, we all know, to the ability, the profes- 
sional genius, the untiring energy and the soldierly pride of its chiv- 
alrous commander. 

As an artillery ofiicer he was a martinet—so apt and successful indeed 
that he was not long permitted to remain in command of a single 
battery. I remember that, by the special order of the commanding 
general, he was placed in command of a battalion of light artillery, 
and entrusted with the arduous duty of organizing the drill and evo- 
lutions in lines of batteries — the French system of artillery tactics— 
not generally known in our service. Afterwards, as we know, he was 
appointed to the command of the 49th regiment of North Carolina 
troops— a position in which he gave further proof of his rare talents 
and aptitude for military life. In the terrible conflict of Malvern Hill, 
Col. Ramseur gallantly led his regiment under a perfect tempest of 
balls, shot and shell, and won the official commendation of his supe- 
riors. Here he received that severe wound which held him, for a 
time, in painful inaction, and from the effects of which he never fully 
recovered. 

It is not wonderful that an officer of such promise and ability met 
with speedy promotion, for it was not long after that he was made a 
Brigadier General. Rising steadily and rapid 1)^- always snatching 
from opportunity the fame which merit entitled him to win, he soon 
became a Major General, and commanded his division in the battle in 



11 

which he mot his lamented but heroic death. Truly may we appro- 
priate to him the words of the preat poet of our language, in describing 
one of the priiu-esi of tlie house of Plantagenet: 

"In war was never lion raped more fierce; 
In peace was never pentle lamb more mild 
Than was that younjiaQd princely gentleman." 

It ifl sad— mournful to think, that at puch a time os this, such a man 
is lost to us. It is a sad and bitter, but still a wise lesson we are taufrht 
by the event. It impresses us witli tlie brevity an(' vanity of human 
life, anil the instabilitv of all liuman greatness. The good name and 
the dear memorv of our friend and countryman remain to us as a pre- 
cious legacy. We will cherish botli with affectionate regard, for m all 
the relations of life he was without fear and without rei)roach. All 
honor to his memory : peace to his ashes. May death and glory keep 
around his tomb one eternal Sabbath. 

Col. W. J. Hoke also reviewed his military history as it 
came under his personal observation in the campaign, and 
related some toucliing incidents of his bravery in baitle, his 
kindness in camp, and his sympathetic care for his wounded 
and sick. 

L. E. Thompson, Esq., remarked : 

It is with a melancholy pleasure, Mr. Chairman, that I respond to 
the resolutions that have just been read. It is melancholy, sir, be- 
cause thev inform me of the untimely death of one whom I had long 
regarded "as a friend. I had known him well and intimately, and had 
watched him as he passed on the current of time from infancy to 
vouth, and from vouth to manhood ; and I thought I saw in him at an 
early age the germ of usefulness to his country and honor to himself. 
It is melancholv because his death has made a void that can never be 
filled around manv a fireside, and has caused a flow of tears that can- 
not soon be dried". It is melancholy, sir, because in his decease our 
common country has lost a soldier of more than ordinary merit, and 
who had pledged his every effort and his life to that country's cause. 
But still amid this woe there is a pleasure in giving a response to the 
resolutions, for thev record the merits of my friend, and do, to some 
extent at least, justice to his manly life and honorable death ; and be- 
cause thev allow me an opportunity, in this his .lative place, to mingle 
a few words of sorrow with the deeper grief of his nearest and dearest 
friends. 

No one else responding further to the resolutions, Judge 

Osborne said : 

He hoped it would not be inappropriate in him, though a citizen of 
another county, to mingle in the general feeling which pervades this 
community. "His acquaintance with the distinguished soldier, in 
honor of whose memory this a.ssemblage has been called, began with 
his military service in fhe Confederate States. He was placed by the 
Executive "of North Carolina in command of a company of artillery, 
which in its organization and equipment was justly the pride of all 
the contributions made by the State to the common cause, 



12 

Understanding thoroughly the requisites of this branch of the ser- 
vice, he addressed himself with ardor, energy and perseverance to its 
order and discipline ; and although he was soon transferred to other 
spheres of service, under other commanders, the battery has rendered, 
in all the great conflicts of tliis war, constant and unsurpassed service. 

The qualities of the young soldier attracted attention at an early 
day, and advancement, steady and rapid, waited on his steps, as occa- 
sions gave opportunity for the exhibition of his military talents, until 
he attained the distinguished position in which he offered up his life 
for his country. The character of Gen. Ramseur presents a most in- 
teresting subject of study. 

He blended in his nature all those qualities which fascinate by their 
loveliness, with those which, by authority and force, command admi- 
ration and applause— like those most attractive scenes in nature which 
awaken our ever varying emotions by striking diversities of objects 
placed in immediate juxtaposition, "where beauty is embosomed in 
the lap of grandeur," and flowers and shade and verdure contrast with 
mountains and forests, and those wonderful displays of majesty and 
form which inspire awe and terror. In the associations of civil life 
we could scarcely realize that one as amiable, whose temper and dis- 
position seemed to be almost formed in the model of female loveli- 
ness, could wield the arm of authority over contending hosts, and be 
the foremost, the most persevering, the most daring of leaders on the 
field of battle. His heart was alive to every gentle emotion, to every 
tender sympathy, but his energies rose with accumulating difficulties, 
and his self-possession never faltered in the midst of danger and car- 
nage. One trait of character which was the master principle of his 
life gave to him all that was impressive and commanding. It was an 
ever present sense of duty. He was never surprised into a forgetful- 
ness of his moral obligations — the principles of Christianity found in 
bis nature a congenial soil; he, without difficulty, yielded himself to 
their control and regulated his conduct by their authority ; and this 
made him a hero of the highest type, because he was a christian hero. 
He believed in Christ, he had faith in goodness, truth and duty and 
their everlasting rewards. The death of such a man in the service of 
his country, in the appointed sphere of his duty, is accompanied by 
every thing which is glorious on earth and every thing which is hope- 
ful in immortality. It is but the call to come up higher, to a higher 
sphere and more enduring honor. It brings to us all a most instruc- 
tive lesson, and urges each of us in the station which we are appointed 
to be brave, faithful and diligent ; and hope for no higher triumph 
when death shall find us, than we died discharging our duty. 

The resolutions were unanimously passed, and the meeting 
adjourned. 



[From the North Carolina Presbyterian]. 

GEN. S. D. RAMSEUR. 



Action of the Session of the Presbyterian church of Lincolnton in reference to 
the death of the late Maj. General S. D. Ramseur. 

This body deems it due to the memory of the gifted and 
lamented dead, to the church of which he was a member, and 



13 

to the country to which he devoted his life, to present to the 
public their hifjh appreciation of iiis worth. 

Steplieu Dodson Kaniseur was born in tlie town of Lincoln- 
ton, N. C, on the 31st of May, 1837. His parents were Mr. 
Jacob A. and Mrs. Lucy M. Raraseur. He was a child of the 
covenant, and was early instructed in the great principles of our 
holy religion. As a son, he learned and j)racticed obedience 
to parental authority, and home was always the place of his 
chief attraction. The most dangerous hours for village boys 
found him at home, surrounded by the healthful influences 
of a ha|)py family, and engaged either in the perusal of his 
juvenile books, or in the innocent sports of boyhood. 

In due time he entered upon a course of liberal education, 
and afterwards pursued his studies with great success at David- 
son College. After remaining there for some time, and wish- 
ing to turn his attention to the study of military affairs, he 
was entered as a Cadet in the Academy at West Point. Here 
he remained during the then extended time of five years, and 
graduated with high standing, and received the commission of 
Lieutenant. Before the actual outbreaking of the present 
war, he resigned his Lieutenancy, and tendered his services to 
his native State. By his skill and distinguished ability as a 
commander especially in the terrific conflicts at Malvern Hill, 
Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, and Spottsylvania 
C. H., as well as by his noble bearing as a gentleman, he was 
rapidly i)romoted until he reached the rank of Major General; 
in the faithful discharge of which office, he fell on the 19th of 
Oct. 1864, while encouraging and gallantry leading his troops 
in one of the fiercest conflicts of the war. 

But, whilst actively engaged in preparation for the duties of 
life, and in the diligent cultivation of his mind, he did not 
neglect the education of his heart. The " one thing needful " 
demanded and received his early attention. On the 22nd day 
of Apiil, 1855, after a careful examination as to his personal 
piety, he was received into the communion of the Presbyterian 
church of Lincolnton. He believed the testimony of God. 
He accej)ted the gospel as the wisdom of God, and the power 
of God unto his salvation. He received it as a "faithful say- 
ing, and worthy of his" most cordial "acceptation, that Christ 



14 

Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Convinced of 
his own unworthiness and inabihty, and conscious of the in- 
finite sufficiency of the blood of Christ; discarding every hope, 
and renouncing every trust, except those which the gospel 
presents, he yielded to its claims, and rested upon its provis- 
ions. During the last eventful year, especially, his christian 
graces revived and expanded. The precious fruits of the tree 
of godliness gradually matured before they were rudely shaken 
to the ground. Prayer with him had become a habit and a 
pleasure, and he was a firm believer in its efficacy. The word 
of God was his great text book, and his private correspondence 
exhibits a most extensive knowledge of its contents, as well as 
a wonderful facility of apt and appropriate quotation. 

Gen. Ramseur loved the church of his own choice. He 
received her doctrines, and admired the scriptural simplicity 
of her order and worship. The qualities of his mind were 
such as, unaided by the graces of the Spirit, went to constitute 
he nobleman of nature; but with these graces, they made him 
at once "the highest style of man." With a heart naturally 
tender, generous and afiectionate, endowed with a high order 
of intellect, cultivated with diligence, and polished with care 
— amiable, gentle, and winning in his manners; patriotic, 
courageous and gallant to a fault, with noble aspirations for 
an honorable name, and lofty desires to be a benefactor — his- 
tory will record his success, when she writes out the purity of 
the man and the deeds of his daring. 

Sustained by that faith which unites to the living Head^ 
animated by a " lively hope " which allured him to a better 
world, he died the death of the righteous, and " his end was 
peace." 

Life's duty done, as sinks the clay, 
Light from its load, the spirit flies , 

While heaven and earth combine to say. 
How blest the righteous when he dies." 

Rev. R. N. Davis, Moderator. 
James T. Alexander, 

W. H. MiCHAL, 

A. McCoy, 
John F. Phifer, 
Wm. Tiddy. 



15 



IN MEMORIAM. 

How beautiful in death 

The Warrior's course appears — 
Embalmed by fond allection's breath, 

And bathed in woman's tears, 

To-day we have parted with the last remains of Gen. S. D. 
Raraseur. Not an uneasy resting place in thine enemy's 
country, oh, gallant Ramseur ! but here in our midst, who have 
known and loved thee— in the old church yard, near that 
dear, good mother, whose strong love even in death, can draw 
■ thee to her side, shalt thou find thy rest. 

Alas! our friend is gone and we shall see his face no more, 
no more. The past is all that is left us of him on earth. We 
look back on our childhood's days; and childhood's sports, 
and think with loving regret of the little arm, which was ever 
strong to shield or uphold those whose weakness claimed its 
protection ; for that heart was as brave and chivalric then on 
that childish field of action, as since in the terrible contest 
through which it has passed. Later came memories not less 
touching, of our joyful meetings (after short separations) in 
the summer holidays, where thy glad, bright spirit, old friend 
and playmate, gave tenfold increase to our delightful enjoy- 
ments. Yesterday for the first time, he passed, cold, silent 
and unheeding us as we stood sad and tearful, where we had 
so often gathered before to welcome him with smiles. And 
now he will need neither smiles nor tears to welcome him 
again. He will return to us no more. The past is all that is 
left us of him on earth. But oh ! what a bright, glowing, im- 
perishable record— that past is of glorious deeds achieved in 
his country's name and for her defence, on many a hard 
fought battle field ; and of sufl'ering intense most willingly and 
cheerfully endured for her sake. Alas ! he has fought his last 
battle. He can fight no more, nor suffer wounds of heart or 
body, for his beloved country's sake. He has laid his life a 
sacrifice upon the altar of that country, and left the tenderest 
ties which could make that life dear to him. 



16 

Father, sisters, brothers, wife — and oh! anguish unspeakable, 
his child; his little daughter, whom he had never seen, nor 
clasped to his heart before he relinquished her forever — 
yet not forever, thank God. A day will yet come to this dark 
night of sorrow, where there will be no more parting — no 
more tears; when the anguish of this hour will be forgotten in 
the glorious triumph of love undying over Death and the 
Grave. 

" For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are 
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be 
revealed in us." 

Miss Laura Alexander. 
Lincolnton, N. C, Nov. 7, 1864. 



[From the Carolina Times]. 

Mr. Editor : The following beautiful and touching lines, 
accompanied a wreath of evergreen, which was laid c n the 
coffin of Gen. Ramseur. They are the production of an 
elegant and accomplished lady, well known for her gifted 
genius and intellectual attainments — will you please publish? 

" IMPROMPTU. " 

MAJ. GEN. S. D. RAMSEUR. 



A wreath for the honored dead, 

The gallant and the brave. 
A wreath of living, fadeless evergreen, 

For the youthful Hero's grave. 

A wreath for the gifted dead, 

As fadeless as his name ; 
A name inscribed in lines of light, 

On the proudest scroll of Fame. 

A wreath for the cherished dead, 
Embalmed with the tears and sighs 

That the bleeding heart of affection sheds 
When the loved and cherished dies. 



17 

A wreath for the plorious dead, 

The noble,' f^ifted hrave, 
A star from liis country's eky has fallen, 

A nation weeps o'er his grave. 

Mrs. M. C. Munroe, of Charleston, S. C. 
November 6, 1864. 



[From(the Confederate]. 
GENERAL S. D. RAMSEUR. 



BY PELLOY. 

There are aome'moments when the'human heart, 

However stout, must weep some friend laid low, 
When death with icy hand has come to part 

One whom we love and honor here below ; 

And when he shoots the cool dart from his bow, 
And chills foreverraore the bounding blood, 

And sets his withering seal upon the brow 
Which marks it for the earth-worm's future food ; 
Then heartfelt, sorrow weeps where mirth before had stood. 

There are some moments when a nation's heart 

Is wrung with anguish to its inner core. 
When joys on pinions wild is seen to start. 

And wing its flight to some far distant shore ; 

When wailing dirges rise where oft before 
Themi<lnight revel rose with noisy glee ; 

When million bitter tears are known to pour 
On earth which covers for eternity. 
One of her gallant sons who died to make her free. 

Such was the homage paid to one who fell 

From his high place into the lonely grave ; 
In each true patriot's heart there is a cell 

Which keeps his memory green as ocean wave ; 

His dust may crumble in the grass-clad grave 
Where he lies lifeless now without a thought, 

His memory watered by our tears will brave 
Oblivion's lowering shades ; and how he fought 
Will be on History's page in glowing letters wrought. 



18 

O- Moloch ! cruel god of war, was not 

Great Jackson's blood enough to quench the fire 
That raged within your heart ? must you now blot 

From out that scroll of names which all admire, 

Another victim to your fell desire? 
Must there again come tolling in our ear 

The death knell swelling in our hearts' deep lyre? 
Well may you at your bloody action leer. 
You could not choose another man we held more dear. 

His form was ever foremost in the fight, 

His voice oft heard above the battle's roar ; 
He fought triumphant, conscious of the right, 

As his forefathers fought in the days of yore. 

Although misfortune's dark night seemed to lower. 
He hoped to see his country's wounds all healed, 

And freedom's sun dispel the mist which o'er 
The land hung damp ; with Justice for his shield, 
He rushed to meet grim battle on the bloody field. 

Oppression still was clamoring at the door 

To gain admittance and revenge delay, 
Uncertainty made every bosom sore 

That tried to drive solicitude away. 

Such was the anxious time when his bright day 
Was turned to night by Death's dark sudden clasp 

The monster met him in the war cloud gray ; 
With crushing fingers his brave breast he grasped 
And changed his battle cry to dying gasp. 

His noble form is mouldering in the dust, 

His weary soul is high above the earth, 
His fame alone remains to keep from rust, 

And that is all that's left of Ramseur's worth ; 

Then of bright fame shall there be any dearth ? 
This, this is all of homage we can show ! 

No ! let the land that gave him birth, give birth 
To those who'll ne'er forget how much they owe, 
To one who gave his life to ease his country's woe. 

Aivthor unkn 



19 



IN MKMOKV OK (iEN. S. D. RAMSEUR. 



The following beautiful poem from the pen of a gifted lady 
of Virginia, though not intended for publication, is thought to 
merit a more extended perusal than it could obtain in manu- 
script; an opinion in which we heartily concur, and, we there- 
fore, most cheerfully give the poem a place in our columns. 
—Ed. Bidletin, Charlotte, X. C 

Harp of the South I whose melancholy note, 

Rings a sad sweetness through the ruins of time, 
Methinks God's angels that around thee float. 

Now strike a holier, loftier hymn ; 
A Hymn which while creation yet was stilled, 
Foretold that man was God 
Indwelling in the sod. 
And now, oh man! behold it.all fulfilled ; 

Go read the life of him just sunk to rest. 

And, see in God a Christian patriot blessed. 

We can but weep, the notes that sweetly ring. 

Though angel notes, to us so plaintive are 
Such notes as would night's chanting Pleiades sing, 

To welcome back their lost, long wandering star. 
But that orb in its other home a void must leave. 
And from those distant spheres 
Soft clouds collect the tears. 
Where stars forevermore an absence grieve ; 

'Tis thus we mourn a star to earth once given, 

'Tis thus the angels sing a star come back to heaven. 

What pen of man may draw the patriot's soul ? 

What eye doth God permit to see its fire? 
But its high thoughts in pealing anthems roll, 

Struck from eternity's rapt lyre, 
And forth his deeds go sounding evermore. 
And when the dead that sleep, 
AVhere angels vigils keep. 
Shall wake to walk their native, heavenly shore. 

They too shall catch and chant the immortal song, 

For to these and God this patriot's deeds belong. 



20 

Droop down ye Southern banners/while the gale 
Sweeps with a moan around Virginia's hall,* 

Tell to the cruel world, ye winds the tale, 
Of the warrior resting in his pall. 

Just heaven, forgive the vengeance in our soul, 
For the torn Southern heart. 
Would with life freely part. 
That the black clouds of destruction might unroll. 
Break forth on the head of the Merciless foe, 
And crush him forever in i^itiless woe. 

Virginia, his blood on thy bosom was left, 

As he fought for thy honor and life- 
Weep mother of States ! of thy guardian bereft, 

In the dark hour of vengeance and strife. 
But that blood which is staining thy breast. 
Through thy veins shall flow 
With a furnace red glow, 
And thy being shall know never an hour of rest, 

'Till he be avenged whose knell has just tolled. 

Who lies on earth's bosom so helpless, so cold. 

Yes, Virginia shall give to thy foes, 

A dread death more eternal than thine; 
Her prowess shall gather thy enemy's woes. 

And offer them up on Nemesis' shrine. 
And her tearful eyes with a softened light, 
Shall turn when she weeps, 
That her loved early sleeps, 
In death's long, dreamless hours of night. 

And that young bride shall yet love the soil where he fell, 

Virginia, whose rich annals his bright deeds shall tell, 

Ye soldiers ! whom Ramseur the gallant, on led, 
Why weep that so noble a chieftain is gone? 

Hark ! list to the beckoning spirits tread, 
It woos ye to rise, be men, hasten on. 

Ye men of his pride, ye men of his love. 
Look at his native land, 
See where her spoilers stand. 

By the blows ye strike for her your sorrow prove ; 
Spirit of Ramseur! see they brush away the tear, 
And the battle tells how was thy memory dear. 

Thou old Carolina, fair State of his pride, 
Whom his fathers revered with patriot love. 



•21 

Who may tell his warm prayers at lejiving thy side, 

He jinrjx).>ieil tliv unwasted valor to j)rove? 
Ami the laurels that on the young hoMIit's brow lay, 
As he sunk to his rest. 
Were as fair as those pressed. 
In thine am-ient, heroic, eolonial day. 
And the star of thy glory, that rose bright in that hour. 
Brave Raniseur beheld reach its zenith of power. 

Oh fair Southern land, for this hero why weep? 

Wouldst thou call him to earth mid her tempest of wars? 
Bid him break in the grave the sweet waiting sleep, 

And tread where death's black river flows ? 
"Oh God," let each heart in hymns now proclaim, 
"We thank Thee for the call, 
Which robed in death's pall, 
The warrior who leaving to us his bright fame. 

Sought a chaplet away where the angels on high, 

Stood to crown him immortal an heir of the sky." 

Miss S. B. Valentine, 
Richmond, Va. 



• His body laid in the Capitol at Richmond, 
Richmond, Va., Oct., 1864. 



22 



Personal Recollections of General Ramseur. 



General Ramseur was shot through the body and lungs. It 
was told me that he was standing on the ground with his left 
arm raised to his horse's mane to mount when the ball struck 
him under the arm, passing entirely through to the right side 
lodging just under the skin. He had already had one or two 
horses shot from under him 

He was taken to General Phil. Sheridan's Head-quarters? 
where he expired on Thursday, October 20th, 1864, about 10 
o'clock, a. m. His body was embalmed by his old comrades 
in the United States army and placed, in full uniform, in a 
beautiful coffin, which was sent to "Old Point," thence up the 
peninsula to the Confederate lines, under an escort of honor 
and delivered to the hands of General Robert F. Hoke. 

On the lapel of his coat was a small bouquet of flowers, 
which had been presented to him by a lady and worn all 
through that bloody battle. 

In his side pocket was his purse and other little articles 
taken from his person, and among them the bullet which 
killed him. These were given to his wife. 

These noble, generous acts of the Federal officers deserve 
to be remembered with gratitude. 

The face appeared quite natural and was in placid repose, 
though somewhat discolored by the settling blood. His hair 
was always thin and was dropping out, threatening baldness, 
and he had had it cut very short a few days before his death. 
His beard was long, fine and silken, beautiful in its softness. 

I met his remains in Charlotte. They came from Rich- 
mond Ilia Danville, to Charlotte. While in Charlotte they 
were in state at the residence of Col. Lewis Williams, on West 
Trade street, some two or three blocks from the public square, 
on the north side. 

Just outside, and west of the old cemetery of Emanuel's 
(or the "old white") Church, in Lincolnton, where the Lu- 
therans and German Reformed people worshipped, was a 



2^ 

large vault, under pround, lined with granite, built by the 
Hoke fiiniily. 

In this vault the body of General Raniseur was laid tem- 
porarily. A large choir of twenty or thirty ladies and gen- 
tlemen, led by Mr. Hildreth H. Smith, sang: "Thou art gone 
to the grave" as the collin was lowered to its resting place. 
An immense concourse of people from all the surrounding 
country attended the funeral and nearly all wept at the vault. 

General Ramseur's remains were subsequently removed 
from the vault and buried in the cemetery of the Episcopal 
church. 

A beautiful marble shaft, with appropriate inscriptions, 
marks the spot. 

He never lived to see his daughter, who was born only a 
few days before he received his mortal wound. 

The earl}' boyhood of General Kamseur was marked by an 
open, generous, frank bearing; he was free from envy, devo- 
ted affectionately to his friends and family ; happy and cheer- 
ful in disposition, and fervently fond of ladies' society. He 
was handsome, bright and companionable; dressed wuth 
scrupulous neatness, and was a model of politeness. 

He wai> brave to a fault, a fine horseman, a good shot, and 
a keen sportsman. He never indulged in petty mischief, so 
common to boys, but enjoyed an innocent joke even at his 
own expense. He had a merry, earnest laugh and a joyous 
face. 

I was once seated at a dinner table with him and Miss 
Jennie Gibbon, sister of the late Major General Gibbon, of 
the United States Army, while General Ramseur was at home 
nursing his wound received at Malvern Hill. He was then 
the Colonel of the 49th N. C. troops. 

In response to some narrative of his army experince, one 
of the guests playfully said : "Colonel, you are a hard case.''- 

Miss Gibbon, who greatly admired him, looked smilingly 
around and retorted : 

"Yes, but I have seen many a sweet kernel in a hard case." 

The Colonel clapped his hands in triumph and applauded 
Miss Gibbon enthusiastically. 

I doubt if ever a finer impromptu pun was ever made. 



24 

Miss Gibbon afterwards married a United States officer. 

The wound which Colonel" Ramseur received at Malvern 
Hill severed one of the large nerves in his right arm and 
paralyzed its motion, though he suffered agonizing pain from 
it, frequently being compelled to use morphia to allay it- 
This wound made it necessary for him to write with his left 
hand altogether for several years and he was just beginning 
to recover the use of his right arm when he was killed. He 
was wounded once before by a ball through his left forearm, 
and once on the foot by a shell. 

As illustrating his skillfulness with a gun, he related to me 
that on one occasion a Federal scout rode at a seemingly safe 
distance from his line reconnoitering his position. He order- 
ed his sharpshooters to take him down, but all their shots 
were in vain. The General, with some irritation, called for a 
sharpshooter's ritle and brought down the scout the first fire, 
and then rode out and took his Burnside rifle from him. 
This he sent to me a? a trophy and I still have it. 

On another occasion a Federal sharpshooter, concealed in 
the branches of a pine tree, was picking off his officers one 
by one and defied all efforts to dislodge him. The General 
watched patiently until he saw the puff of smoke from the 
Yankee rifle high up in the tree and the next moment the 
sharpshooter was tumbling from his lofty abode, another vic- 
tim of the General's unerring aim. He used to laugh heartily 
about this and describe the surprise he gave the fellow and 
how ludicrously he came down the tree. 

General Ramseur was a christian upon principle, a student 
of the Bible and strong in his faith. His mother, a noble 
christian lady, had eaply instilled into his mind the West- 
minster catechism, and he knew and appreciated it thoroughly. 

My correspondence with him was frequent, free and full 
from 1855 to his death, and all this time his letters breathe a 
spirit of faith and love towards God, which is of the most 
comforting nature to his friends. Nothing profane or obscene 
came from his lips; and he was emphatically "pure in heart." 

He abhorred the newspaper puffs, gotten up to make a false 
reputation for those not worthy of it. He had great con- 
tempt for i)olitical generals. Indeed to such an extreme did 



25 

he carry his iiKxk'sty in tliis respect that he would not ;illo\v 
his picture to be taken durinj; the war lor fear it would be 
(lisplayeil in some artist's show win(h)w, and it was only alter 
mudi piTsuiusion that he consented to have a photoj,'r:iph 
taken wliile Major of Artillery In-low Petersburji;. No one was 
allowed to copy it. 

(ieneral Raniseur 'iu)nored his tjither and mother," and 
when misfortune financially befell them, he never received 
money without dividing; the larj^er portion with tliem. These 
and others were the foundation virtues which supported the 
fabric of his splendid character. 

In conclusion, in my mature age, after lifty-seven years of 
experience and observation among men, 1 can sincerely say 
that I have never known or observed a nobler specimen of 
manhood, morally, mentally or physically, than M;ijor General 
Stephen Dodson Ramseur, of Lincolnton, North Carolina. 

D. SCHENCK. 

March 8, 1892. 



Mrs. General Ramseur. 

The widow of llie gallant Rauiseur, who 
was the spirit aud life tlie generals 
of hue's army, is livin-; at her inolher's 
home near Alilion, as gentle, and modest 
and heautifiil, as she was in her maiden 
days. Mrs. Ramseur is pleasant and cheer- 
ful in soriety, but still dre&.sfs in the deepest 
Hiourniug, and with the vanities and show 
of this gay and ^\<itiy life she has nothing l» 
do, l.utaniid Hip (juit-t of her country home 
ske has devote.1 herself to the education of 
her daughter who |)roniis(s to rival the 
mtither in all the accomplishments that 
adorn a woman. Mrs. Ramseur was a Miss 
Ricbmund. 



RAMSEUR Died, on May 27th, at 

Concord, N. C, at the home of her sister, 
Mrs. Montgomery, Mrs. Ellen Richmond 
Ramseur, widow of Major General Ramseur, 
of the Confederate Army, who was killed at 
Cedar Creek, October 19th, 1864. Her 
maiden name was Ellen Richmond. Her 
home was Woodside, near Milton, N. C, a 
home endeared to many friends by its hos- 
pitality and her own gracious presence. In 
early life Mrs. Ramseur united with the 
Presbyterian Church, and lived a consistent, 
pious life. During the greater part of her 
life she lived with her mother and brothers 
in her paternal home. She was a woman of 
great personal loveliness, of winning sweet- 
ness and charm of manner, as well as at- 
tractive and lovely character, kind and gen- 
tle in feeling and bearing. Sh6 had a very 
pronounced force of character, based on 
right thinking and religious principle. 
Brought up in a home of ample means, she 
addressed herself bravely to the altered cir- 
cumstances produced by the Civil War, 
patiently bearing life's duties with sweet 
amenity and gracious manners, carrying 
light and sweetness around her. Her de- 
meaaor was marked by that delicacy and 
refinement which piety engrafted on natural 
sweetness of disposition always makes so 
charming. She was most tenderly loved 
and admired by kindred and friends, and 
her memory will be ardently cherished. 
She had been an invalid for two }'ears. She 
met death with serene triumph, looking be- 
yond the grave to the home awaiting her. 
Her last words were, "I am perfectly 
happy. Christ is here in this room. God 
is with me," and so through the dark gate- 
way bright with her Lord's presence, she 
passed into the Eternal City. 



Mrs. EIUmi 1{. Itainsour, widow ()l 
(Jen. Stopht'ti Dodson Hamsuiir, died 
in Concord at the rosiilinn-i' of Mr. (i. 
CJ. liichmirnd, on Sunday evening:, 
Mav i'T, lltOO, at ~):'M) o'clock. Mrti. 
Ivamscur was thodau^lit'T of C. II. 
and Mary Uichiiiond, and was born 
^n Caswcil county onMlic 'Jstli day of 
l)oC(unl)L'r, 1S4().' She was married in 
(ict(>lior. lS();{,to Cii'n. KauiscMir, who 
was killed at Cedar Crock in October, 
18U4, leaving- a ilau<;iiti*r only a few 
days old, whom he never saw. Mrs. 
Ka'mseur was a true type of tho best 
element of Southern womanhood. 
She was (juiet and inlellif^ent, affec- 
tionate and i)rous. Thoufi'li possess- 
ing: many attractions and graces she 
never enterel society- after tho deatlu 
of her husband, but devoted her life 
(JO her dauiihter and the niemorv of 
her distingnished husband. To those 
who were so fortunate to be asso- 
ciated with her, her life was a bene- 
diction, so sweet and f>;entle, so kind 
and cheerful. 

Mrs. Kamsenr had been living in 
Concord for the last eighteen months 
at Judge Montgomery's, who mai-- 
ried her sister. She went to her 
brother's to spend awhile and was 
unable to return. Her sutl'erings 
wei'e long and severe but she bore 
them without a murmur and died in 
great peace, assuring her family and 
friends that all was well. Almost her 
last words were: "I know that my 
Kedeemer liveth." 

Her body was carried to the depot 
by old Confederate soldiers, several 
of whom had served under hergallant 
husband, and thtMico carried to Liu- 
colnton and buried beside her hus- 
band. 

The people of Lincoluton showed 
every mark of respect. Their kind- 
ness, sympathy and hospitality were 
beautiful. The editor, who was one 
of the escort, has never seen any- 
thing more refined and appropriate 
to the occasion than was the conduct 
of the good people of Lincolnton. 
The funeral services were in the Pres- 
byterian church (of which she has 
long been a consistent member> con- 
ducted by llev. K. Z. .Johnston, as- 
sisted by Ki'V. Dr. .1. V. Fair, of Sa- 
vannah. 



and Mrs. Moi|tg<>iaery ; Mrs. K. H. 
Harding, Mrs. Judge Sehenck, ^tissos 
Mary Ivaniseur. Mollie Dodson. Willie 
Kiehmoniland MamieDotlson; Messrs. 
(i. (i. Kichniond, VnM\. Richmond, ('. 
U.Montgomery, l\ H. Fetzer, J. D. 
I.,entz, Maury Uichmoi»d and J. U. 
Sherrill. The following old soldiers 
acted as pall bearers here: Messrs. 
D. A. Caldwell, J. D. Harrier, D. B. 
Coltraiie. J.C. (iibson, A. li. Young 
and U.S. Puryear. 

. — I 

DEATH OF MRS.; KI.I-EN K. KAMSEUR 

She Fell on Sleep »it the lloiiie of Loved 
Ones In Concord— The Interment lu Lin- 
coluton. 

Special to The Observer. 

Concond, iMay 28— T>?ath released Mrs. 
Ellen H. IlamS'eur of her .sulTering Sun- 
day evening at 5:30 o'clock. Mrs. Ram- 
seur was born at Milton, N. C, on De- 
cember 2SL.h, 1840. She was a daughter 
01" C. H. and Mary Richmond. In Oc- 
tober, 1863, she was married lo the gal- 
lant G?n. Stephen D. Ramseur, (who was 
killed in the battle of Cedar Creek Oc- 
tober 19lh, 1864. being mHrrled only 
about a vear. Since the death of her 
liushand Mrs. Ramseur has never gone 
into society, bul has devoted her lite to 
her daughter and to Lhe sacred memory 
of her dead husband. Mrs. Ramseur 
came, some 18 months agt), to make her 
home at Judge Montgomery's, 'Mrs. 
Montgomery being a sister. 'About a 
month ago she went to Mr. G. G. Rich- 
mond's, her brother, where she grew 
worse, thus breathing her last at the 
home of her brother. Rev. Cochran 
Preston perflormed t.he funeiul riles this 
morning at the home of Mr. Richmond. 
The pall-bearers were men who had 
done service to tke Confederate cause. 
One had fought in a number of battles 
under her illustrious husband; another 
was with him as he was borne in lin 
ambulance to the enemy; a third bore 
the flag of truce and received his body 
from the enemy. 

Mrs. Ramseur was held in tender re- 
gard, both for her own personalit-i-es and 
the memories associated iwith her hus- 
band, in whose honor the IT. D. C. oC 
Concord was named. The body of Mrs. 
Ramseur was taken to Lincolnton this 
morning, accompanied by her daughter, 
Miss Mary Ramseur; iMrs. W. J. Mont- 
gomery and Mrs. E. H. Harding: 
Messrs. G. G. and C. H. Richmond, sur- 
viving brothers; Judge Montgomery 
and Richmond Montgomery. Maury and 
Misses Willie Richmond, Mary and Mol- 
Vu- Dodson, and Messrs. J. B. Shea-riU, 
J. D. !Lentz and P. 53. Fetz-r. 



TRIBUTE OF LOVE. 



ThsDodson Bamsenr Chapter U. D. C. 
in Honor of Mrs. Ellen Ramscur. 

At the last meeting of the Dod- 
spn Ram^eur Chapter^— United 
©aughters of the Confederacy 
the following resolutions, w«re 
offered, and ordered placed upon 
the minutes. 

"Tribute of love and respect 
to the memory of Mrs. Ellen 
Richmond Ramseur, 

Whereas, it has pleased our 
Heavenly Father to remove from 
our midst, our esteemed, and be- 
loved honorary member, Mrs. 
Ellen Richmond Ramseur there- 
fore be it. 

Resolved. That we humbly 
bow in submission to the will of 
our Father in Heaven with pro- 
found, and tender sympathy, and 
condolence to the sorely be- 
reaved. 

Resolved. That we shalLever 
cherish her memory, her lovely 
Christian character. 

Resolved. That these resolu* 
tions be spread upon the minutes 
of this meeting, as a part of the 
record. 

Resolved. That the secretary 
furnish these resolutions to the 
town papers for publication and 
a copy of the same to the family. 
Mrs. Jno. P Allison. 
Mrs. D B Morrison. 
Miss Rose Harris. 



Mi-s. Rainseor's Life— Tribute by a Char- 
lotte Friend. 

iDicid, in Concord, Sunday, May 27th, 
1900, Mrs. Ellen Richmond Riamseur, 
\vidow of General iSteplieTi D. Ramseur, 
who laid down his life for his country. 

The gallant S'ltephen Dodslon. Ramseur 
was one of the youngest of the lOon- 
federace generals, a graduate of We^ti 
Point, cons'pieuou'3 as a man and as a 
soldier. He was mortaliy wounded in 
the battle of Cedar Mountain and died 
in the hands of the enemy. How-ever, 
all that w-as mortaJ was laid to rest 
among Ills loved ones, in the lovely old 
town o'f Lincolnton, where yesterday, 
after long years of waiUng, irests by his 
side, the -wife of his youth. 

Ellen Richmond was a native of Cas- 
well county and in her maidenhood gave 
her heart and hand t'O the handsome 
cousin, who was granted a furlough to 
claim his fair bride, so soon to become 
a widow. She, \vith her only daughter, 
Mary, lived at the old home most of the 
time, thougli these last years of weary 
wail'ing and suffering have been spent 
in the hospitable home of Judge Mont- 
gomery, of Concord, lovingly tended by 
Ilea- daughter, Mary, and her sister, 
Mrs. Lou Richmond Montgomery. 

At the last, there gathered around her 
bedside all 'but ■one of her brothers 
and sisters, including Dr. and Mrs. E. 
H. Harding. 

Monday jnorning the friends carried 
her through to Lincolnton, by way of 
Gastonia. 

Had it been known here in time, the 
Daughters of the Confederacy would 
iiiave ibeen delighted to show honor to 
her and to the memory of her noble 
iiusband. 



RESOLUTIONS OF KESPEOT 

At a nieetiug of the Ladies Mias- 
iouary Society of iMilton Pifiibj- 
terian Church, the following 
resolutions were adopted: 

Wliereus, God in Ilia infinite wis- 
dom, Jias Ciilled to the Church 
Triumphant, our beloved sit^ter- 
niember, Mrs. Klleu D. Kamseur; 
therefore, he it resolved: 

Ist, That wc bow our humble 
submissiou to the will of Him who 
taketh his faithful ones to their 
eternal reward. 

2nd, That while we niid« the 
gracioub charm of her presence 
amony: us, hor unaffe;;ted warnuh 
and kindness of heart; we shall en- 
deavour to imitate her pure and 
lovely example, her exalted christian 
character, her unseltith dwvoiion to 
duty, her loyalty to her church and 
tlie cause of her Master. 

3rd, That we extend (he tendcrest 
sympathy of our hearts to the sor- 
rowing family, commending them to 
God. who was alwavs hor '*ShieH 
and Buckler" and ir whoso presence: 
she shall live and reign forever. 

4th, That a copy of these resolu 
tions be sent to the family, and also 
be published in the Miltou Herald. 

' Mrs H. Walker, 
Committee, \ Miss. Susan 1 lines, 
Mrs. Kate Watkius.